Sun Village Beach Resort Reviews – Dominican Republic Hotels – Debbie's Caribbean Travel Resort Reviews – Sun Village Beach Resort

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi    Katrhyn ~ Washington DC

September 2009

The rooms were very simple.  The mini bar did not include any beer, we got 1 coke and 3 waters per day

Restaurants and Bars:
The main buffet was open for Breakfast and dinner only. The beach grill was open for lunch. 

beautiful.   The chairs were showing much wear and tear.

Other Comments:
You could see by looking around, that the resort needed an overhaul. This is not our first trip to the D.R. so we know what to expect, however, there were many indicators that this resort was not doing so well.

Since we were looking at the vacation club membership, while there we google it, and found that there was a big lawsuit going on, after arriving home on Friday 18th, we found out on Saturday the 19th, that the resort was closed.

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi    Cindy ~ New York

July 2009

Arrival: August 10 – August 18, 2008
Arrival was great. We were greeted by by the wonderful workers with champagne.

We originally had a spa room, but then was upgraded to the Maxim Resort on the hill to a beautiful sweet. Our room has a flat screen, large balcony that served as another room and large jacuzzi.

Restaurants and Bars:
We were hoping for some Dominican style food but we did enjoy the Asian and Italian restaurant.

There are 7 pools and all them were clean.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel:
Karaoke night was fun. Aerobics in the pool was fun as well.

Other Comments:
Our wedding coordinator did a wonderful job. Her name was Rocio. She will do anything you ask her to do and everything was amazing. My guest are still talking about how beautiful the resort was and the wedding.

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi    M & S ~ Canada

April 2009

This was our fourth year in a row in POP, first at the Sun Village. Check in was easy enough, though the majority of the front desk staff spoke very little english and were less than helpful. We arrived shortly after 1:00 pm and had to wait until 3:30 pm for our room to be ready, despite the fact that half the resort seemed to be empty. We had emailed twice, ahead of time, as we had family arriving a day after us and wanted rooms near one another. When we arrived, we made mention of this again and they said they didn’t have anything near us. Again, half of our building was empty. Once they realized we weren’t going to take no for an answer, they seemed to find a room in the same building as us for our family members. This took three or four separate conversations with different people on different occasions to get straightened out, since no one seemed to want to help.

The "superior" rooms are nice, but very basic. The major benefit of it over the standard is a much larger balcony — I think it was about 12×12. The "superior rooms" on their website with the plasma tv’s and such are not what you’ll find, though they are very clean and comfortable. AC always worked just fine. Rooms could be cleaned any time between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, but were always done very well. Hot water was plentiful, but took some time to get there. Turn the shower on and let it run for a good 3 minutes and you won’t have a problem. We stayed for two weeks and never once did we not have hot water (we were in bldg 308).

Restaurants and Bars
Malibu Buffet – Excellent! We were two adults, two small kids and two seniors and none of us had any trouble locating food that we liked. We often found TOO much! Don’t miss the Dominican Buffet night. So tasty!

Sonora Beach Restaurant (daytime) – Basic beach food, like hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. It was close to the beach and the food was decent. If you don’t feel like wandering up to the main restaurant and aren’t looking for anything fancy, give it a shot.

Sonora (evening) Mexican a la carte – SLOW service, but the food was good. Try the Sangria — yum!!

Lemongrass Asian a la carte – Food was very good, ambiance was excellent. We celebrated my husband’s birthday here. When they came to sing Happy Birthday to him, he’d just gone to take our son to the washroom. Once we told them this, two of the staff took off into the bathroom, banging pots and pans, to find him. It was priceless! Excellent service, very good food.

Citrus Italian a la carte – Food was ok. We saw a rat running across the rafters, which made us not return, nor did we much enjoy our meal after that. I am sure it is hard to keep those critters out, but it really turned us off. When the people at the table next to us brought the rat to the waiter’s attention, he didn’t seem the least bit phased. Ew.

The beach is short, as has been mentioned, but very well tended. Sand is hard-packed, and not soft. TONS of loungers, always. Never any problem locating one, no matter the time of day. Sometimes, shade was hard to come by and, as we were travelling with kids, this was kind of a pain. No palapas anywhere on the beach. When it’s stormy, the waves can get a bit big, but there’s no undertow and the beach/water felt safer to us than the beach at many spots along Playa Dorada.

The kids’ pool is fantastic, with its little waterslide. Lots of shade around there and usually not too difficult to find loungers. Every other pool looked very well taken care of.

The gardeners work tirelessly to maintain the property and do an excellent job.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel The activities staff is very friendly but not overly pushy and if you say no, they leave you alone. There were lots of activities going on near the beach. Went to Ocean World for the second time and it was great, as always. Worth the $$, as the kids really enjoyed it. The road between the resort and Ocean World makes for good walking and is safe, though I don’t know if I’d feel good about walking it alone at night.

The beach is public, as any beach in the DR. On the weekends, especially Sundays, you will find this beach loaded with families and local people enjoying the day.

Other Comments
Friendliest staff of any resort we have been to, ever.

The Spa is AMAZING and not to be missed! We liked their "Sun Village Signature Massage" so much, we went back for it a second time.

The timeshare guys are relentless, but they make a commission off of every person they bring through, not just off of sales, so they’re just doing their job. We took the tour on a rainy day and The Bungalows are gorgeous, though the price tag made us gag. Don’t listen to them when they say it will take 20 minutes — it took us over two hours. If you don’t want to do it, lie and tell them you already have.

Isa at the kids’ club is FANTASTIC! Our kids loved her and loved spending a few hours there every couple of days (especially when it was raining).

The staff said the resort was at 80% capacity, but it felt pretty empty. Tons of loungers, lots of tables at all the restaurants. I think the longest we waited for a drink was one day at the beach bar when three people were ahead of us.

This resort is one of the best we have been to in POP (aside from the rat sighting!) and I would definitely recommend it, aside from the Italian restaurant. We never go to the same resort twice, so we’re not likely to return, but it is an excellent vacation spot.

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi   Linda & Rick ~ Winnipeg, Canada

March 2009

Arrival and Flight
Fights were with Air Canada – overnight in Montreal. Flight out of Winnipeg was delayed and we were rerouted via Toronto and then Montreal. The arrival was quite late so we had to cancel our hotel room and make do at the airport. Flight to Puerto Plate was okay – lots of expansion and construction at the Puerto Plata airport since last time there in 2005, but did not cause any disruption with our baggage or getting the tourist card. Note – Air Canada does not provide any free food at all on their flights.

Stayed in block 201 right by the Dolphin pool, Juice bar and the SPA, approximately a 5 minute walk from beach. The room was spotless and our maid Isabel was just great. The block was very quiet. Any problems we had with the room like burnt light bulb and the TV remote not working were looked after right away. The only problem with the room is that there was seldom any hot or for that matter warm water. (Made for very quick showers.)

Some of the previous reviews indicate that the food was not very good but we found the food was excellent. The main buffet restaurant (Malibu) always had a good selection of dishes to choose from, all presented quite beautifully. The waiting staff were on the most part attentive and appeared to enjoy the opportunity to serve you. The three à-la-carte restaurants were also very good- our favourite being the Lemon Grass (Asian). The Sonora was by the beach and serve Mexican food – a little bland for our taste – and the Italian restaurant was the most elaborate and the only a-la-carte needing a reservation.

Waiters were always cheerful and ensured your glass was never empty. No Presidente on tap!!

Beach and Pools
The pools were always clean and you could always find a lounger to sit on and a parasol or tree to lie under. Finding a lounger or getting a towel at the beach was sometime difficult but for the days it rained, we had not problem finding one. (go figure!) The waiters from the Love Wrecked bar on the beach did not served you at your lounger as some of the previous reviews indicated but it was not a far walk to find a drink. Some days the weather cooperated with a mixture of short rains and longer periods of sun making you get off the loungers and go for the cover of the beach lounge and get a drink of course. The beach was raked at least once a day but there was a lot of seaweed and keeping the beach clean was quite a chore. If you are one that likes to walk for miles along the beach, this is not the resort for you as the length of the beach is very short. One could walk to Ocean World on one side and the proposed golf course of the Lifestyle resort next door but that was it.

Beautiful – the ground crew were always working cleaning, cutting the grass or raking the endless amount of leaves that kept falling from the trees. This resort is very well designed making full use of the natural trees and topography to create water falls with three of the pools located on different levels. Many, many stairs which made this resort a lot different to the resorts we have been to in the past but with its multi levels and many trees, you also felt you were actually deep in the Caribbean. Some of the main buildings are definitely showing some maintenance neglect with several roofs leaking and some roofs showing some structural problems especially in the Lemon Grass area, but these were reinforced by additional posts so there was no fear of the roofs collapsing.

Activities and Entertainment
If you wanted to get involved, the entertainment staff kept you busy both on the beach and around the resort. The Theatre Lounge was the centre of night activity and on rainy days – it was the staff entertainment area and at night the movie theatre and the nightly entertainment stage. The staff worked really hard to talk a lot of people into joining in the games and dances etc. There was entertainment most nights, some actually very good and after the show, the place was used for a disco for as long as you could manage to party.

Went to Ocean World on one of the cloudy days and interacted with the dolphins. This was a good day! One night we went to see the Bravissimo (?) show at Ocean World which is a Las Vegas type show and well worth the money – one solid hour of non-stop entertainment.

We also went on a Dune Buggy tour from a tour company just outside the resort – Jerrassi Tours – this was a bad choice on our part. We sort of got the feeling when we were the only people on the shuttle truck. Very poorly maintained buggies – all seemed to have very little braking, one buggy got 2 flat tires – end result is that after 45 minutes into the tour, they drove us back to the resort and we had to really argue with them to refund most of the tour price.

We also walked around in Puerto Plata quite a bit on several days going to the open market, shops and the cable cars. One warning though – do not wear expensive jewellery in town. One day while waking in town, a young individual jumped out of a car and before we knew what happened, he pulled my wife’s gold necklace off, got back in the car and spun off. No one was hurt and the necklace was replaced but it could have been worse.

Departure and Check Out
Departure was no problem – It also was a present surprise to find out that the departure tax was included in the vacation packages now.

Conclusion We had a good holiday (with the exception of the Jerrassi tour and the theft in Puerto Plata.

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi   John ~ New Jersey

March 2009

We were picked up and delivered to teh resort without any problems. Checked in and all ok till now.

Was given room 30623 which had 2 double beds…. Not for me as we were told we get a King bed so on to 30913 and it was fine except for the fly’s and bugs in the bathroom all week.

Restaurants and Bars Mexican, good food…….slow service give it a 5 out of 10.

Itilian, good food, good service….give it a 9 out of 10 self serve…..bad food, bad service, 2 out of 10 We agreed that a total score of 4 is good for the food at this resort.

Beach/Pools/Grounds Beach…. not big, not white sand, lots of waves… just like New Jersey IMO.

Pools…. nice, clean, just what I expected.

Activities on and off the Resort/Hotel
Horseback riding with Joyce the horse lady…….. excellent and Alex is a great guide.

Other Comments I enjoyed the time there, the guys were relentless about seeing the timeshares they had to sell. I did not go. People were frendly and did anything they could for you. Our maid took care of us all week and did a good job. We decided on the flight home that we would not go back there again. Food just did not float our boat. I expect better quality when paying a fare share for my stay. JJ

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi   Ilana

October 2008

My boyfriend and I went for our first vacation in September, and were less than impressed over the course of the stay. The food was greasy, the beach was tiny and unappealing, and the entertainment almost nonexistent. Our room, on the other hand, was beautiful. But when we went to check out (we had won a free week stay and were paying NOTHING) they informed us we owed them almost $1000 for a "room upgrade". We refused to pay because we had never agreed to an upgrade and had not even been aware we were in a "spa" suite. We asked to see our check-in papers to prove that we agreed and they "couldn’t find them". To make matters worse, they called the police and told us we could not leave until we paid, despite the fact they had no proof of their accusation. Eventually we paid the money so that we could leave the property. Never could I imagine such a dishonest and disorganised corporation. They held us hostage and threatened us with imprisonment if we didn’t pay a charge that we had never agreed to in the first place. I couldn’t believe the lack of corporate responsibility and highly advise everyone to stay away from this place unless you don’t mind being mistreated.

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi   Tracey ~ Mansfield, UK

September 2008

Arrival and Flight
Flight was good – lots of expansion at the airport since we last went there in 2006, but did not cause any disruption and the baggage and tourist card went smoothly

Stayed in block 309 which was approx 5 mins walk from beach. Room was spotless and maids tireless. The block was very quiet and we slept well.

We stayed here in 2006 and thought that the food was excellent then – but this year they surpassed themselves. I have a wheat intolerance and there was always a very good selection of dishes to choose from, all presented beautifully. The waiting staff were very attentive and enjoyed the opportunity to serve you well. They took pride in you leaving the restaurant happy!

Waiters again were excellent. They ensured your glass was never empty and laughed when we said no as we didn’t want a hangover the next day.

Beach and Pools
Scrupulously clean and comfortable. Always a lounger to sit on and a parasol or tree to lie under to pass an hour or 2. The waiters from the Lovewrecked bar served you at your lounger so we didn’t even need to get up to go to the bar. The beach was raked at least twice a day .

Beautiful – the gardeners worked their socks off and always had a happy smile and a “hola”

Activities and Entertainment
Always lots going on if you wanted to get involved both on the beach and around the resort. Kids were kept well entertained which gave the parents there some quiet time. The new Theatre Lounge was great – this is a new addition from our last visit. The entertainers worked really hard to involve all and talked lots of brits into joining in the games and dances etc. This was also used on rain days and there were films, games and activities if the weather didn’t behave. There was a show most nights and then disco for as long as you could manage to party

Went on the First Choice Reps evening into Puerto Plata, drive round the town and then a meal and quiz in a restaurant. Not a glitzy evening but thoroughly enjoyable and we thought it was worth the small sum it cost. Fiona was fab – watch out for her quirky Scottish humour.

Departure and Check Out
Departure again was seamless – we didn’t get picked up until early evening and were provided with a room to shower etc so there was no need to keep our room later than check out time.

Conclusion We had a fabulous holiday in 2006 and came back to the Sun Village because of this. I can confidently same that although I thought it couldn’t get any better it did and I would not hesitate to go again and again.

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi   Ana

July 2008

iwas at the sun village resort & spa on 7/7/08 for 5 nights ….the hotel itself is beautiful clean, and the staff are extremely friendly you can’t ask for more of this people most of the time they will call you by your last name and it really makes you feel special……i visit the italian restaurant excellent and everyone was great the oriental restaurant as well…my complaint is that i was born in the dom rep and i live in the usa all my live i go to puerto plat i thought i will find a resort with a little of the dominican culture as far a some of our dishes and music, and we were told that the tourism of the resort is not dominican … made me feel like i was staying there on charity not that i spend about $244 a night like any other tourist from europe usa or canada etc. and because i’m dominican we are n’t consider tourist at the sun village resort and therefore we are not to be please with our food and music at some time of your stay…….i’m sure that the tourism that decides to visit the dom rep is to see the country and learn of our culture and food our music…..if you go to england you think they will have chinesse music and chinesse food because they would like to please the turism they are very proud people and they will show you their culture food and the music that they usually listen to………***lets be proud and show your tourists about the beautiful dom rep la quiquella la bella what is it all about….stop trying to be english, in the middle the caribbean sea or canadian, remember you did make your investments in dom rep because you all know that is the place to be……………in conclusion the resort is beautiful the staff is wonderful, but if you would like to known what the dom rep is all about *********do not go to the sun village resort it is not for you*******

Top of Page

  Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi   

April 2008

Six of my girlfriends and I stayed at the Sun Village Resort & Spa from March 30 to April 6. From the minute we got there, we were impressed; we still haven’t stopped talking about how nice the entire resort was, not to mention the people.

Since we were a group of 7 girls, we wanted to stay close together on the resort, and the hotel staff went out of their way to keep us in the same bungalow. In fact, we got three rooms all in the same location; and one of our friends was even bumped up to a superior room free of charge.

My sister lost one piece of her luggage on the plane, through no fault of Sun Village, and everyone went out of their way to help her get it back. One person, Jaime, who didn’t even work for the travel rep (Sun Village) but worked for Maxim Bungalows, even assisted. She eventually got her suitcase back and was offered some money to replace some of her lost items.

As for the facilities themselves, what they say on the website is all true; what you see really is what you get. Immaculate grounds from top to bottom, inside and out. Every place we went was spotless. It rained for two days while we were there but we made the best of it in the main bar and the staff were absolutely amazing, from the maintenance workers to the hotel management, everyone went out of their way to say hello and make sure our stay was pleasant. On day when it rained, one of the hotel bell boys took us all for a mini-tour of Ocean World and Maxim Bungalows, free of charge. It was great to get to take all the pictures.

The resort itself is nestled in between two small mountains; overlooking the ocean. There are three or four tiers from top to bottom. From the top it starts with the entrance; main lobby, theatre, disco, etc. You can see the ocean from this level. The next level down is the terrace, first main pool (infinity pool with waterfall); and swim up bar and stairs lead down to the main buffet level where there is also the adult pool. The next level is the kiddy pool; and the next level down is the juice bar; yet another huge pool and path to the spa and exercise area. We spent a day at the spa and all I can say is I never in all my life seen anything so beautiful; it was spic-and-span spotless, and I do mean spotless. The service was luxurious, the staff couldn’t do enough. The pool and hot tub at the spa was also very nice. Then, the next level down is closer to the beach with another beautiful huge adult pool; mexican restaurant, hot tub, beach bar & food area, and of course , the main beach where you can see the big sign to Ocean World.

All of the bungalows and grounds had beautiful foliage and flowers everywhere, perfectly manicured.

There are a lot of steps; however, but this didn’t bother us. There were a few times the girls would get tired walking from the beach to the resort, but they have a ‘taxi’ service there and it would only take 2-5 minutes and someone would come pick us up and take us right to our room.

All of the restaurants were awesome, the staff was very attentive with refreshments, ashtrays, chairs, etc. We all thought the food was fabulous everywhere we went, including the beach bar. Sometimes we were just so relaxed and lazy on the beach we didn’t feel like going to the main buffet for lunch and the beach bar food was great. Plus they would deliver drinks to our chairs on the beach, so we couldn’t complain. They staff were also very entertaining on the beach; we had dancing lessons and spanish lessons; some played volleyball. We claimed our same spot every day and the staff was always very accommodating. We brought our own music (cd player) and were dancing and had a ball. Staff would sometimes join in if we invited them.

The Maxim Bungalow people were NOT aggressive and hard sell at all. We talked to some really nice people and they didn’t even say what they did or what they were selling, all they did was be nice and socialize and offer friendly and helpful tips. It was so delightful and pleasant. One of my favorite people was Jaime who helped my sister with her lost luggage.

The people do try to sell you stuff on the beach but it is not hard sell in-your-face all day kind of approach. Just tell them no and they go off to the next person.

I had trouble trying to get the hot water to work my first day but that was my own stupidity; when I did ask for someone to come over, they were there at the room in les than 5 minutes and showed me how to turn it on properly. Our air conditioning worked wonderful; no problems with the safe; beautiful balcony; the rooms were immaculate and gorgeous. Fresh towels every day and service with a smile. I know I’m not getting all of how absolutely beautiful this place was and how impressed we all were…there was not one single complaint. We cannot say enough about this resort & cannot wait to go back again. The girls are already planning on going next year — this is by far our favorite trip ever! Book now would be my best advice.

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Lorena

February 2008

We just returned from a wonderful vacation at the Sun Village Resort. There were 10 in our group 4 adults and 6 children ages 11 to 18 staying from Feb 19 to 26th.

Our check in went pretty smooth, although a bit slow but this could be due to the fact we needed 4 rooms and the lady was attempting to keep us all together. They do provide you with a drink upon arrival which is nice. Once you have your rooms they have their bellmen take you and your luggage to your rooms. They show you how everything works even right down to where the bottle opener was (to dispute the one review that said there wasn’t any in the rooms). Our rooms were in building 310 and one room was in 309. We have been to Mexico a few times and the rooms we had at Sun Village were a lot bigger and better beds.

The resort is amazing. The 7 pools were all wonderful although we didn’t use all of them, one being a children’s pool and one at the Spa. We had no complaints about the pools. The beaches were nice, not white sand like in the Carribean but still nice. Our two families spent a lot of time on the beach in the water, etc.

The food at the bufffet was good. There was one night where due to the theme it was hard to find something we liked but there was a lot offered. We tried the Italian and the Asian restaurants and liked them both. The Asian took a long time though and with kids they would have been happier at the buffet.

The staff at this resort are the best. The maids do a good job of keeping your room clean, there are maintenance people tending to the grounds all day, the bartenders were great, but the best was the entertainment staff. They go out of their way to include everyone in the activities. We have been at resorts before where the staff cater to the young girls, etc. but these guys got everyone going. Manny, Jeremiah, Ronodino, Anna-Marie & Modesto were wonderful!!!

The complaint made by one reviewer about the time share people I feel is unwarranted. We were never pressured, they mentioned it to us and that was it. The one man, Joel, was more interested in asking us how our day was and making sure we enjoyed the resort than pressuring us to talk about time shares.

The bars were great , lots of variety for drinks and there was a lot of "top shelf" alcohol there, if you asked for it. We never experienced the bars running out of alcohol although it was harder to get a ceasar at the beach bar than other bars.

Over all this was one of our favorite holidays and part of that was due to the staff. The one morning we had painters in our building and it was raining a bit. My friend was about to leave to go for breakfast when the one painter stopped her and ran and got her an umbrella. He was concerned she would get wet walking to the restaurant. Pretty amazing service considering this was one of the painters!!!

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi TK & WH

November 2007

My best friend & I returned to Sun Village Oct 13-20/07 for a second visit. There were some improvements/changes, some for the good, some we missed. The weather was some of the best we’ve ever had in the DR, it never rained one drop the whole week and it was HOT, HOT, HOT!!!! Just the way we’d ordered it.

Arrival & check in were painless as there were only 10-12 on the bus. Upon arrival at the resort, we were checked in and driven to our room (upgraded to a superior 31024) where we found lovely bathrobes on the beds. This room was a nice size with 2 full size beds, with lovely light duvets on them, the bathroom was spacious and lots of counter space (extra shelf under sink) and towels & washclothes every day. There was even an iRadio with alarm, it was cool. We were treated to a cheesetray upon arrival and had a lovely fruit tray delivered the next night. We immediatlely headed to the Aqua Bar where we met Manny (who made the BEST lime dacquiri) and Anthony & Ne-lo (?). The greeted us warmly whenever we saw them all week.

The Oasis Bar was great. Dagoberto and Allesandra knew my special blender drink as soon as I walked/swam up and asked for "dos especials". One day the blender had been missing for 2 days, and Allesandra, said sit down, I’ll be back in 5 minutes. She returned from the Aqua lounge with 4 of my drinks (it was HAPPY hour) and proceeded in walking me my back to where our chairs with our drinks. The service was always prompt and with a smile.

The new Theatre Lounge is awesome. I was disappointed when I heard they had taken out the Lobby Bar, but this is so much better. Its very comfortable with bar stools/tables, comfy cushioned chairs & tables, sofas, 2 flat screen wall mounted TV’s. Its a great place to cool off and catch a breeze in the afternoons.

We were disappointed that the Dolphin pool and bar converted to a "juice" bar and the activities relocated to the beach. We took CD’s with us and were planning on "dancing around the pool". I love the beach to look at and walk on, but spending all day there with the wind whipping the sand around and getting sand flea bites didn’t appeal to us much. Also disappointed that the beach restaurant wasn’t open for lunch like it was on last visit. We missed lunches with the beach/ocean view. The real problem was having to "get dressed" for the main buffet, but we "suffered" through it.

The main buffett was awesome. The soups were great (looked forward to that every day), and a good variety of different foods, never got bored with it. The nice thing is they only put out small portions at each station and are constantly refreshed, so unlike alot of other buffetts, the whole thing isn’t sitting out for hours at a time. The staff here were so attentive, we could never make it to our table with our soup bowls without Basilio or one of the others taking them from us and carrying them for us. Rancho Salsa picante was always waiting on our table for us. We ate at the Lemon Grass (Thai) again and it was so nice. The hostess gave you a nice silky pillow to rest your feet on (after walking on the hot pool deck all day, this felt great). The food here was very tasty and plentiful.

We can’t say enough about the staff. They were THE BEST. Their command of the english language is astounding, but we like to practice our spanish while there which they are always grateful for that. Even the Maxim Sales staff were friendly and pleasant. They even stopped and gave us a ride back from the little store on the beach street ( we were ladened with coffee/rum/cerezas) right up to reception. BTW, that little store is a great place to stock up on items such as coffee,rum etc as they are much cheaper than the resort stores. It will be a little more expensive than going into town, but it is very close by and convenient.

Another nice improvement was the new gym at the spa overlooking the Dolphin pool. It had brand new equipment: 2 ellipticals, 2 treadmills, 3 lifecycles, a bowflex machine, free weights etc. And yes we used the gym almost everyday, and most mornings we weren’t even the first ones there at 6:20am. The best was the buff gym guy (never did get his name) would always bring you a towel to wipe your sweaty brow (just don’t get "that" kind of service at home)

Anyways, we would highly recommend this resort, its truly a wonderful place, with the people, the scenery and the weather. Can’t wait to come back.

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Jo-Anne

November 2007

I traveled to Sun Village with my mother and best friend with my FH meeting us there. We arrived at night with only 1 other group of people so check in was smooth and went quickly.
We were assigned rooms 30009 and 30010. These two rooms are literally in the side of the hill. They are standard rooms but not yet upgraded to the type of standard room that you see posted on Sun Village’s website. We are not fussy travelers and the rooms were fine for us. The location turned out to be very good. All we had to do was walk up the stairs from our rooms and we were at the Terrace pool. This is where we spent all our pool time. It was then a short walk over two pool bridges and down a set of stairs to the buffet restaurant.

My mom had two heart attacks in 2006 so I was concerned about her and the stairs. When we went to check out the resort and walk down to the beach she did have to rest every so often – but then again so did my friend and I 

My mom, my friend and I booked into the spa for some treatments the day before the wedding and they were well worth it and very relaxing. My friend and I booked our appointments for make up and hair – and even had no issues when we changed the appointment time the day of the wedding. My friend and I brought our own make-up with us – and were glad we did. They did not have the biggest make-up selection but Justina did a fantastic job with the applications. She also did my hair. They wanted to leave it down with big curls – and I would have loved that but I know my hair and the Dominican humidity and an up do was the only option. Justina did a great job with my hair as well.

There had been light rains in the afternoon the 3 days preceding our wedding so I wasn’t surprised when it started raining while we were at the spa. However, it wasn’t the usual light rains. It was a torrential downpour!! We could not leave the spa to get back to our rooms because it was raining so hard. I called my FH back at the room and he said there was water in both rooms. It took about 20mins for a Bellboy and a golf cart to show up to take us back to the lobby. My friend got a back from the spa to cover my hair – It wasn’t cute but it did protect my updo. By the time we arrived at the lobby the photographer and my FH were waiting for me for the pictures. The grounds of Sun Village are beautiful and my friend and I had staked out so many wonderful locations for pictures – but the weather did not cooperate. Luckily with the resort being beautiful we were able to find a few different locations around the lounge bar and lobby that not all the pictures have the same background.

Our rooms were down a set of stairs however; there are no hand railings. Due the heavy rains my friend fell twice going down the stairs, luckily she was not injured. By the time we arrived at our rooms there was ½ to ¾ of a foot of water in the rooms. My friend called reception and asked for new rooms and the response was that they would send people to clean the rooms. She did mention that we were trying to get ready for our wedding. My FH had to get dressed on top of the bed in our room – at that time there was only an inch or so of water in the rooms. Thank goodness I had laid my dress on my friend’s bed – otherwise it would have been in that dirty water. I had to quickly gather my things and then throw my dress back in the dress bag and go get dressed in a public bathroom by the bar. At this point I didn’t care if any one saw me in my state of undress – I was trying to hurry it up as the photographer was waiting. The pictures turned out great and you wouldn’t know all that had gone on prior to that.

While the pictures were being taken my friend went to reception to get us new rooms and fell on the way there. This time she cut her knee. The supervisor did not want to leave her office to come and talk to her – and only after my friend started yelling did she come out. Maybe that was because new guests were checking in at that time. She eventually got us new rooms. These were the standard rooms that are shown on the website. What I couldn’t figure out was that knowing it was our wedding day, our rooms were flooded with dirty water and the resort was not close to being full why they would not immediately change our rooms from one standard room to another. Maybe they didn’t want us knowing that we got two of the few old standard rooms that hadn’t been upgraded yet. My friend and my mom were left trying to pack up two rooms and were not able to join us for any photos at the hotel.

Other than the front desk supervisor not wanting to change our rooms the staff at Sun Village are wonderful and always greeting you with a smile. We had great service every where we went whether it was the buffet, a specialty restaurant, Aqua Lounge, the Terrace Lounge bar or the swim up bar. We took some wedding photos sitting at the bar and the bartender promptly brought us wine glasses and opened a bottle of wine for us. The housekeeping staff were great especially when they were trying to get the rooms cleaned for us. They were always leaving swans from the towels on the bed or in the bathroom. The day of our wedding she had made a swan and put my FH’s tie around it’s neck and made a heart shape with hard candies we had sitting on the desk. After the wedding she had taken the flowers I had in my hair and put them in the swan in the bathroom. It really was a nice touch. We had a fruit plate delivered to our room the day of wedding. My FH’s uncle used to work at Sun Village and had called and requested it for us. There was another fruit plate in our new room the day after our wedding. Even the fruit plate in the newer standard room was nicer.

Our wedding was held at a restaurant in town and once we were on way everything went smoothly and we had a great time. I won’t go into details about our actual wedding as it was held off-site. However, if anyone has any questions please feel free to email me.

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Debbie and Corey

November 2007

My Grandson and I travelled to Sun Village Resort – Cofresi Beach. This was his first time anywhere. What a lucky 8 year old to go to such an incredible resort. I have been to the carribean countless times, been to Dominican a dozen times and Sun Village is the best so far. I can’t beleive I just found this resort. Now my husband and I will go back in January guanteed.

We first arrived at Sun Village with the most friendly reception from front desk staff. The week before I had requested an upgrade from the Manager Mario and was pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a Superior room. It was lovely with a view of the gardens and very close to the first pool. (There were 7 in total – you have to experience them all) Also in the room the first day we were brought a cut up fruit tray and a bottle of rum. The fridge was stocked with beer, soft drinks and plenty of water. The TV we couldn’t get working the first day and when we called the operator someone came to the room in minutes. Once he fixed the TV we gave him a tip and he refused to take it. I literally forced him to take it.

Every staff member were wonderful. This kids do a wonderful job in entertaining all guests. Honey and Jeremia were wonderful to me and my grandson.

A short 5 minute walk down the beach you can go to Ocean world. We snorkeled and swam with the Dolphins. I had never swam with dolphins so this was a "experience of a lifetime". It was awesome. Just stay away from the guys with White shirts. They want to sell you Time share and bring you to another resort. They are very pushy and annoying to say the least.
Just outside of Ocean world is a blowup water slide. It is approximately a 40 step climb and is a blast. The first day my grandson and I went down at least 50 times. Sun Village guests can go down as much as they want so we did! Jeremia was so impressed that I went down as much as I did. Everyday after lunch at the beach grill we went down to the slide for a couple hours. All the kids that we met started doing the same thing. Corey had a blast with Stephen, Jack, Cloie, Calab, Calen. Cloie, Calab, and Calens Dad had as much fun as I did doing dives off the top of slide.

At any age you must go down the slide at least once. It was great fun for the kids.

Since I had my grandson we went to the Buffet (Malibu) every night for supper. It got a little tiring but the food was always good. I really want to go back to try the restaurants.

All staff go out of there way. They are told to always call you by name. Once they ask you your name they always say it. Its a wonder how they remember. The service is exceptional, the best in the carribean. My grandson went to get towels one day only to return with none saying there was none clean yet. We proceeded to the main pool and 1/2 hour later Manny came running over to us with fresh towels. He must have looked for us all over. How incredible. This is the exceptional service that happened all week.

If you go to night life you must go to "The Rocky horror Picture show". It was great.

Some of the reviews were negative on the website. I always go to the carribean with not very high expectations. I figure I am in another country and may not get everything I want so then when I come to a resort like Sun Village I have gotten more that I could ever dream of.


Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Nicola

July 2007

We stayed at sun village from 25th June -9th July and went with Thomson’s.

I was a little worried before I went after reading the reviews, but most were unfound, an some im shocked at especially the poster on 1st July posting after just 2 nights there. (trip advisor) I find it hard how ppl can make up their minds like that after just 2 days, and for the fact saying all thy wanted was a few shops etc, maybe if thy had done a little research they will have found that cofresi is a small village.

Flight out was really good had window seats with extra legroom (not paid for). Got through airport very quick an wnt to our coach be careful not to get stung buy the porters for a tip that’s too high.

It took 30 mins to get to the hotel , the reception area is stunning and check in was very quick, make sure u ask for the safe as it was not initially offered. The porter took us to our .to our room 30834 on the 4th floor ( as requested) id emailed the hotel before to request a central room an on a high floor. Our room was located with a small slope an one flight of stairs to get to lobby and aside 1 step we had a flat slopped walk to spa, dolphin pool and beach. Our room had 2 beds ( we had booked for a double) but as thy were each uk double be size this was fine, we didn’t want to chance changing as our room was nice, it was very clean with a big balcony with 2 chairs and a sun lounger, we had a double wardrobe and a dresser with the TV on and fridge underneath, the fridge had water in. the bathroom was a good size ha plenty of towels, a coffee maker and loads of toiletries. We also had wash cloths which I read on many reviews ppl did no have. The rooms have a fan and aircon. The maids cleaned well and if you have your do not disturb sign on wont go in even if you r out. If you are a late sleeper you room may not get made up. On our second week the aircon broke , (whole hotel) and around this time our mini fridge got stocked with beer and soda.

We thought at first it was a good will gesture coz air con but they still filled once aircon was fixed. As was our anniversary on first night w ha a massive fruit platter and rum put in our room. W also found out on check out that our room was a superior so w ha been given a free upgrade. Our rep had told us at beginning we would only be in a standard.

The pools here are amazing, the pool nearest the lobby is the adult pool with swim up bar. It is nice here its just a shame they don’t enforce the adult only rule, there were loads of kids here and this annoyed us a bit, one reason w chose this was coz adults only pool so we could chill. One level down is another pool , deeper with a waterfall, an 1 level blow that is a kids pool with a slide. Halfway between here and the beach is the dolphin pool an juice bar, you also get towels here. Then at the beach is 2 pools one where the activities happen. There is also a Jacuzzi which is very hot.

The beach is ok but the sea is murky, unlike player dorada, but then again that is man made.

The spa is fantastic, the massage is very good and the pool is peaceful.

There are several bars here although whilst we were there the removed the lobby bar. There is one in theatre lounge, pool, aqua lounge and lovewreked. The drinks were good. An some branded drinks inc too, but not baileys grrrr, if you want branded drinks then ask otherwise u get the cheep stuff.

Ok so to one of ppls biggest gripes the food. The only place we didn’t like was the Mexican, it was disgusting. There is also a bbq small buffet at beach every day there just make sure ur food is cooked properly.

Our favourite was the citrus Italian, the risotto and fillet steak with porcini mushrooms was divine. Service is slow but thy are very busy and pleas remember your on holiday in the Caribbean.

The lemon grass was good too food tasty and well presented.

We were lucky just as we arrive as it is low season they scrapped booking the alacates s u can go when u want.

The Malibu buffet was good and I challenge anyone who says thy cant find anything to eat there.

Breakfast was same every day, there is fruit juice, fresh fruit, breads, meats, cheeses, pastries, eggs omelettes, bacon, sausage hash browns, pancakes waffles, French toast plus more.

Lunch always bread, pizza salad chips burgers pasta plus daily changes to mat, fish, veggies an specialities and desserts

Dinner theme changed daily, but there is always salads and pizza.

We thought the selection an quality was very good.

The only downside to our stay was the tourons, its unbelievable the amount of ppl that don’t say please and thank you. And that some (not all ) from a certain country think thy better than anyone else, there was on big family like this there flashing their gold, thinking they it, one of their kids kick me quite hard in the back in pool an didn’t even say sorry even though it was clear I was in pain.

For excursions we did ocean world with the shark an stingray encounter. Its very good. W I the freestyle cater mean trip another must an a night on the town pub crawl, which as go but id like to have been able to spend longer in sousa an cabrette.

Hubby also did scuba diving with northern coast diving an highly recommends them.

Over all was a good holiday. Our tour operator are pulling out of this hotel this because on reception an management level there is no customer care. My rep id say this had no reflection on the other staff though.

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Nancy

March 2007

just returned from the sun village..march 10-17..pools were pool was ever could always find a chair..the bartenders were wonderful..they knew who was there first and you did not have to wait to long..the food..buffet was problems..the only place which we did not like was the italian..only thing good there was the garlic bread..all the other places were very good..went with three other people..and all of them were sick one day or another..i was the only one..which i ate everything they it took a day each away from person was sick for two days..not fun..had some trouble with our room..but as soon as we said we were going to call the 800 number..they did better..they gave us a suite..which was wonderful..two bedrooms two room..and a huge balcony..which was two steps from the if you go you have to make sure you complain right there and get what you want..we talked to manager..went to town one day..and we had a escort with first i didnt like the idea..but once we did get there..we were glad he was with if you go into town..make sure you are escorted..the tip is worth it..there is a lot of steps but nothing that you cant handle..but if you are hand-capped then there is a problem…infact it was good,,since all we did was lay on the beach and eat and drink…there was always some sort of show going on at night..and it really was very good…only thing we found annoying..they are always trying to get you up to do things..and when you are sitting on the beach and dont want to be bugged…beach was good..little rough..but nice..all and all it was a nice far from the airport..but that to can be handled…leaving on the last day..turned out to be a nightmare..since all airports in ny..were closed to storm..they knew all flights were cancelled..they made us get on the bus anyway..they said they didnt have any word on the airlines…so the whole bus went find out no flights in or out..and its the 17th they are saying they cant get us out until the talk about panic in the airport..everyone at the airport wanted to know why we came there..they just wanted us off the resort..and we were not there problem..did get home but three days later..i have been to the dominican many many times and always stay on the other side of the island…had a wonderful time..nice and tan..but when i go back next year..i will go over to the other side…the caribbean is nicer..and water is calmer and a beautiful blue…

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Martin Family ~ Halifax, NS

March 2007

Our family of 2 adults and children ages 9 and 12 had a wonderful week at Sun Village. The weather was sunny and 30 degrees everyday. 2 days mid week were quite windy. This is our first Caribbean vacation with children and to the Dominican Republic.

Rooms – the rooms are not North American standard. They are basic rooms with bed, side table, TV, and dresser with 3 drawers. Ours was a superior room type, this was a basic room with 2 double beds. The décor was faded and worn. The bathroom was clean. Enough room for the four of us. I saw a standard room, it’s quite a bit smaller than the superior.

Main dining room – very large with designated smoking areas. Lots of choices each day for lunch and dinner. Choices of local fish, beef, chicken, pork or lamb. I found the food to be bland with not much spice added. There are 3 dining areas that you can reserve (Thai, Mexican, Italian). We tried the Thai and Mexican, both were ok but I would have rathered the main dining buffet for more choices.

Pools – there are 7 pools, we visited 4 pools regularly. 2 are on the beach and this is where all of the action is takes place during the day with activities. 2 are adults only but we swam at 1 of these most days. No one asked us to leave and there were other children there. A couple of topless sun bathers but not many. My children didn’t take notice, they were busy swimming. My children enjoyed the pools more so than the beach area. We brought a couple of blow up pool toys and diving toys, they quite enjoyed those. Our last day, we left these with the reception desk to give to the childrens pool.

Beach – the beach was clean, wide and plenty of loungers for everyone at any time of day. There is a beach bar – quite handy! Lunch is served at the grill on the beach as well. There weren’t any vendors on the beach except for excursion sales. We were advised to not book excursions through the beach vendors. The beach is on the Atlantic water so was rough but not as rough as others I’ve been to. You were able to use boogie boards, kayaks, etc. We brought our own snorkel gear but there isn’t any reef off of this area. We were quite disappointed. In order to snorkel you had to book an excursion. We decided to not do this.

Ocean World Park – this park is run by the Sun Village Resort. It is a 5mins walk on the beach to the park but it is advised to reserve tickets through the hotel and to take the bus ride. It has sea lions, sharks, stingrays, dolphins, snorkel pool, love birds, macaws, parrots, etc. We spent 4 hours there, it was quite entertaining. We decided to leave before the bus was scheduled to do so, when leaving the front exit we were immediately approached by a fellow driving a golf cart in uniform with “VIP” on his shirt offering to drive us back to our hotel. Instead he took us to the next resort over from Sun Village to give a sales pitch on buying villas, I asked them to take us back to our hotel immediately as we weren’t interested in purchasing, and they did without any fuss.

Taxi Tour – we took a taxi into Puerto Plata city – approx. 160,000 residents. We booked this through the hotel. The cost of the taxi was $40.00 US plus you had a tour guide as well and he wanted to be tipped. I thought this was quite expensive compared to other countries. The tour took us through the city. The taxi could have taken us to a museum and the amber factory at extra admittance costs for both. We declined this but asked the driver to take us to the city markets for souvenirs. Again, I thought the souvenirs were expensive and most of the shop keepers were not interested in bartering. We didn’t make many purchases.

Landscaping – there were many workers keeping up the grounds; pruning, painting, sweeping, garbage collection, etc. The grounds were well maintained and were beautiful.

The hotel is built into a hillside, lots and lots of stairs from reception to the beach. There were many elderly people at this resort, I think they found the stairs difficult. There many people with babies and strollers as well. The whole complex is quite large but spacious, we never felt crowded or rushed to reserve a lounge chair. The crowd was quite dispersed with the number of pools and the beach.

Overall we quite enjoyed our vacation. I would recommend this resort to others.

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Ian

March 2007

We travelled to this resort from Feb 24th until Mar 3rd, 2007. Here is a quick breakdown of our assessment and how we rated things.

Hotel and grounds – what else can you say but WOW. The hotel amenities were all impressive and very picturesque. The grounds are meticulously manicured and every view deserves a picture. There are flowering shrubs surrounding every path and magnificent Palm Trees throughout the property. There was never a mess anywhere or a stray cup to be found. Everyday there were scads of workers cleaning, painting, or trimming.

This is simply a top notch resort.

Rooms – Ok one of the few minor setbacks at this resort. We had a room with king sized bed and adequate furnishings. The rooms were cleaned daily and there were always fresh towels and plenty of hot water. The rooms were somewhat "tired" and in need of some sprucing up. We didn’t have too much to complain about because really, how much time do you spend in the room?

Pools – Absolutely amazing. The cascading waterfalls from one pool to the next was a complete treat. They were always clean and there was never a problem finding a chair at any pool. The adult pool was very nice as it was quiet and very romantic with the cascading water. The large freeform hot tub at the beach was a neat idea and a very good place to unwind as the sun went down….drink in hand of course.

Bars – What can you say but great service. With the resort at capacity we never waited more that a few minutes to get drinks. The beach bar is a great place to hang out when you want to get out of the sunshine for a while. All the drinks essentially have less taste and more booze but what the heck, it’s a vacation.

Beach – The beach itself is very nice. The sand area of the resort is well kept and rolls down to the actual beach. The resort does a great job of cleaning the seaweed up early every morning so it is very clean looking. My one disappointment is that as you venture out into the water you are standing in seaweed in very short order. If you are looking for a completely sand covered ocean floor this isn’t it.

Restaurants – the buffet is huge and there was always a wide variety of food to try at every meal. Everything was fresh and we sampled many different types of food. We did not have one problem with stomach upsets (or worse) and if you couldn’t find a meal you liked here then there is no hope for you. Al a cartes were fine, Mexican was ok, Oriental was better, and Italian was to die for. There were 2 beach bbq’s while we were there with decent ribs, and there were snacks (burgers, dogs, nachos) available at the beach all day.

Staff – friendly, helpful, always with a smile and a friendly "ola".

We did 3 day trip while we were there. We did a "Cat" trip for snorkelling that was tons of fun. We went horse back riding for half a day which was also very good. The disappointment was the "Outback Safari" tour which was just essentially a kidney breaker through the back road where people wanted handouts at every stop. It was 2/3 of a day wasted as far as we were concerned.

Hope this helps

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Michael

February 2007

We decided to book our reservation for this less than average "resort" with two months in advance. When we arrived at the airport, we were backed into a small van with luggage piled upon ourselves. Once we were a couple minutes from the airport, the driver pulled over and said we have a small problem and that the "resort" was overbooked and we had to stay somewhere else that was "almost" as good.

To make a long story short (this is too upsetting to write at this time) we were held hostage on the side of the road until we agreed to stay at the resort they were going to put us in. The temporary resort was one star at best. (Filthy beach, security guards wielding shotguns, horrible food, one dirty pool that I saw fecal matter in, etc…) We then had to repack and move to Sun Village halfway through our "relaxing" vacation. Once there, it was the same as the first resort except the staff was rude, there were a thousand steps, and they had 7 pools. Nothing special. They did not care about what we went through. (We later heard they had displaced about 20 couples that week.) What a scam, charge you a higher rate, overbook, then pay a different resort less to put you up, keep the difference you charged, and refuse any type of refund. They did upgrade us to a Villa, which was nice of them.

However, the couples involved now only had their small bedrooms for any sort of privacy. And I’d bet it was going to be vacant anyways and this would allow them to make extra money by renting our original rooms to other people.

Then to make our relaxing vacation even worse, I got ripped off by Sea Pro Scuba. (They should call themselves Steal Pro Scuba.) Due to the mix up with the overbooking and being moved to Sun Village a day earlier then expected, I was told I had to make my own transportation arrangements to the resort we were displaced to. I made arrangements with Sun Village for transportation. The next morning I was put on a bus by Sea Pro’s quite rude and condenscending rep named Mickey. There was some miscommunication as he thought I was going to stay on the bus and be transported to their dive center. I thought I was being transported to the other resort to catch the bus there. Sea Pro’s driver dropped me off on the side of the freeway and I was forced to run across the freeway and walk to the resort. Once there, the bus had already departed and I was stuck without transportation. Sea Pro supervisor Marcos apologized and stated he would refund my money the same day or next day. When I went to collect my refund the following day, Marcos called me a liar and stated he received a different history from Mickey. Sea Pro offered to take me diving that afternoon, yet refused a refund. Why would they offer to take my diving in the afternoon if they thought I was in the wrong. I mean they actually called me a liar! What an insult. It seams that Sea Pro will be really nice and suave, once they have your money, they don’t care. You are just another tourist they won’t see again.

To top it off, Sun Village Resort’s front desk manager ******* even acknowledged that the whole mix up with Sea Pro would not have happened if Sun Village Resort did not overbook our trip. Yet, he stated Sun Village Resort would not refund my money. It was not really the money that upset me, it was the principle. Both Sea Pro, aka Steal Pro, and Sun Village Resort dropped the ball and I was the one who had to pay for it. What a joke?

I brought scuba gear and did not get to dive. My family members brought golf clubs and did not get to play. There was so much more we wanted to do but this trip was doomed from the beginning.

What a horrible mess this whole trip was. I just wanted to say thank you Sun Village Resort for ripping us off and ruining our vacation.

This is the first review I have had a chance to write about Sun Village Resort,, and Sea Pro. I must say I feel a bit better after reviewing what I encountered.


Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Mark and Delaine ~ Rhode Island

February 2007

Just returned from a fantastic trip to the Sun Village Resort in Cofressi Puerto Plata.

I don’t know what to say other than WOW…We stayed at the resort previously and since returning have found the Spa Complete with a new fitness center, massage rooms relaxation areas etc. It is a state of the art facility. Also completed was the Spa Guest Rooms that overlook the spa itself. These rooms are phenomenal!!! We also noticed that the Resort had upgraded the lounge chairs at the pools and the beach. The food at Malibu, the Buffet, not that it was bad before, somehow got better. The meat was tender and tasty. Since we had stayed there previously, about 1 week before arriving I called and spoke to Carlos at the Front Desk and advised him that we were returning guests and would like to upgrade to a Superior Room. Carlos advised me that the resort was completely full but he would look into getting the upgrade for us and would place a note with the reservation. In most hotels/resorts one would figure that this would be as far as it went, just lip service. When we arrived, we spoke with Angel who was working the front desk. Angel stated that he noticed in the reservation that we wanted an upgrade and were prior guests. Angel put us in the exact room that we stayed in at our prior visit. Angel pointed out that he noticed Carlo’s note on the reservation. Now that is service…Obviously we were extremely pleased with this and found that this type of service is the norm for the resort. Everyone at the resort works tirelessly with a smile the whole time. Never do you feel like you are putting someone out when you ask for something. Every morning the walkways were either being washed down or swept clean by workers…When I say there are miles or walkways I mean miles…. The resort is huge and even when totally full you can find a quiet place on the beach, which stretches out, all the way to Ocean World or one of the seven pools. Really the only time you get a sense that the resort is full is at night when you pass everyone going to dinner at one of the four restaurants. Even with all the people the resort functions flawlessly.

As stated previously we stayed in a superior room—The Room was large, clean and more then comfortable. The water pressure was fine as well as the hot water. Our maid cleaned the room daily and we left a couple of dollar tip a day for her hard work. Whatever we wanted, we left a note and received more than what we asked for all of the time.

The Concierge Service was also helpful, our concierge, Aurulio (sic) he was always asking if we needed anything and if everything was OK. Several people from the Concierge Service were concerned for my wife as she was sick. Jaime offered to send someone into town to get medicine for my wife. He also convinced her to go the Doctor’s office in which she did and received medication. She got the flu from the flight over… Nothing at the resort caused the illness. Anyway again, the staff was falling all over themselves to help us and make our stay enjoyable.

The Beach is not wide but it is long…Sun Village owns all the property from the beginning of their resort to Ocean World. I would estimate the beach is about ¾ mile long so there is plenty of room to spread out. Chairs were never an issue always had some available and we did not get to the beach some mornings until 11:30am.

The Pools are fantastic—-clean beautifully laid out with waterfalls connecting three of them.

The Grounds are also fantastic-the resort spends a lot of time on the upkeep of the grounds, this is very apparent. They incorporate the natural beauty of the islands shrubbery and flowers with a stamped concrete material walkway that traverses through the resort.

As with anywhere there were some small glitches, the electricity shut off here and there for no more than 1 minute before the generator kicked on. This is common throughout the island. One night it went off during a rain storm—the only we had in 13 days… We were at the bar and the staff lit candles etc and the ambience was even nicer. Unfortunately the lights came back on within 5 minutes. We toured the resort to see what the resort’s future plans were. We were brought to the new residence buildings located at the top of the resort. They are 2000 + square foot apartments that are being completed for sale to the public. They were beautiful… They also showed us the property that the resort has purchased near Ocean World and told us about the boardwalk that was being constructed on the piece of property that connects Sun Village to Ocean World. It is about a ¾ mile strip that is going to be constructed and that ties into the resort. This information is good to know because it is obvious that the resort is moving in a positive direction thanks to the EMI Group. The EMI group is sinking serious money into the resort making it what it what it is today and guaranteeing that it continues in the right direction.

The resort is beautiful and a return visit is a definite.

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi Rob & Penny ~ Canada

January 2007

Sun Village Resort and Spa I would rate as a 3 plus star at best

We when to relax before the Christmas week.

Traveled out of Montreal with TMR tours on Air Canada, Flight was good and uneventful.

First I would like to mention that for the week it looked like Sun Village was only 20% to 25% booked. There was room every where we when and no one was busy.

Grounds and common building are a 4 star.

TMR rep at air port in Puerto Plata recommended if we have any problems with the resort to go to their TMR rep on site not the front desk. This we did and it helped, On check in TMR had provided a free upgrade to a superior room, The front desk at Sun Village just trough it a way when we presented it as they had packages already made up.
Our first room was only a standard and it was a dump. First it was dirty, grim in every crack and groove, paint patches on the walls where different colours, only two bath towels that it, no iron, no coffee for coffee machine. Had better in the middle of no ware in Alberta.

Plus at the intro meeting with TMR rep asked about the free room upgrade. Line took us to the front desk and in two minutes we where move to a superior room, which I would class as a standard but was clean and equipped. One thing we did notice on the into rule from Sun Village is the promote that you can upgrade your room for $10 US per person per night. Scam?

Sun Village assign a rep to you also, they are friendly offer of free rum to come to their intro meeting which is about 30 minutes after your tour reps meeting. Our rep would not comment on it. But it is TIME share sale type of resort so if you need to save $5 US dollars for rum go, or just say NO and skip the meeting, They will call your room and find you on the beach, buffet, just say NO and they go away.

Food and restaurants and Bars.
A tip of 20 to 50 pesos does seem to improve service.

The buffet had a good with a variety for any taste, flavour or oils and hot sauces you could add, maybe not two or three for a different item for that taste. Item seemed to sit there a long time. This is back to the 75% vacancy rate, I guess it is hard to run a buffet with low turn over.
The beach buffet for lunch was good also and there was BBQ by the beach Bar also, not just dogs and burgs there was beef, pork, chicken and all the fixings. No relishes.

Al la carte restaurants where good and service great. We went to the Italian, Mexican and Thai. The Thai was a let down , the food was only like so so cheap Chinese food. But still OK.

Bars good and if you mention you would like one of the better brands instead of the local bar brand you could get it. Only once where we ask to pay extra for the Baileys. At the beach bar once on of the bartender did not seem train as he did not know how to make the drink of the day. At the Bar beside the Main Buffet we would go for a drink after supper and we would get one to go as we when for a walk, My wife like white wine and it got to the point they would rap a bottle up for her to take back to the room. That’s knowing how to keep some one happy.

Trips Took the COCO town trip the fort, amber museum and local lunch, rum factory, shopping.

It was OK for $36 US it’s cheap way to see town, But nothing special.

One down item which I cannot point to the resort, But raises a couple of question.
I got the gastro ailment, every second or more person we talked to also got it at different times of the week. Also when we got back trough word of mouth with relatives and friends we heard of 10 other couples at resorts in Puerto Plata, that both of the couple got it bad.

Would we go back NO! There is to many other resorts in this class and with out the time-share angle.

Top of Page

Sun Village Resort & Spa Cofresi USA

May 2006

I traveled to Sun Village in Puerto Plata on May 12-17 2006. I found the hotel and grounds to be impeccable with some stunning views. The grounds of the hotel were maintained well and was quite pleasing to the eye. The hotel has lots of stairs as mentioned in previous reviews with no elevators, so it would not be recommended for those with disabilities or the elderly. I had no problems with this. The staff was very friendly and accommodating and attentive.

I stayed at one of the rooms on the far east of the resort and would consider upgrading to a room close to the main area of the hotel, my room #20234 was a standard room, comfortable and had no problems with it. I was not able to eat at the Sonora restaurant as one night was hosting a private party and did not get my reservations in on time, the Tai restaurant was quite good. The ala carte Malibu was hit or miss some menu items were really good, while others were not. I found that most of the seafood was quite good and fresh while the beef and pork were generally on the chewy side, as a note, I live in the USA in the midwest, the heart of farmland, so I am spoiled when it comes to corn fed cattle. Pizza was terrible!! I did not think it was possible to mess up a pizza. My recommendation would be to eat at the restaurants, if you go to the Malibu stay with the seafood and some of the authentic Carribean dishes they were really good. Keep and open mind and be adventurous and don’t be afraid of trying new things. Night life at Sun Village was limited to the Disco and shows, the magic show was good, the authentic dance show was glorified dancing bears, but they tried real hard to make it interesting. The band wasn’t bad, but I really thought that they would have more merenge music and traditional island music. I really did not know what to expect. I found that most people partied all day in the sun at the swim up bars and by after dinner most were too burned out for any night life. This was disappointing as I am single and traveled alone. I am more of a night owl for partying, so my advice would be for the hotel to either improve nightlife or have some bands poolside for daytime partying and dancing.

The hotel provided security on the beach and at every entrance, at no time did I feel at risk.

I do wish that the beach bar would have stayed opened later at night. I would recommend Ocean World , I did the dolphin swim and the shark encounter and they were a lot of fun and a pleasant experience. When doing the dolphin swim, when you get to the dock in your group, pay attention to the assistant with the bait cooler, the dolphins will hang around him, I was next to him and got plenty of extra time petting the dolphins. I did the Paradise Island snorkeling tour, the snorkeling was great, plenty of rum, the guide tried to be informative about the history of DR and was friendly. The bus trip back was long, it was nice seeing the countryside and mountains, but was too long my liking, perhaps some rum on the bus would have made it better and some sing along songs. I had planned some other tours but were canceled due to no tours on Sundays and no tours were offered on Tuesday due to the elections.

I would return to Sun Village if I went with others who would want to go, but as a single traveler I am more interested in visiting new places and counties.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Michele and Mark

February 2006

My husband and I traveled for our 2nd trip to the DR Feb. 9-14, 2006. Our first resort was also through Cheap Caribbean and was to Sunscape Casa Del Mar in La Romana (South Coast). I will say that the two trips differed greatly and Sunscape being the better but I want to share my experiences!

EMI Sun Village is on the north coast (Atlantic side rather than Caribbean side). With Cheap Caribbean, unless you pay much more, you generally fly into the airport which takes approximately 1.5 hours to get to. We used Turinter tours both times to take us from the airport to the resort. Costs 90.00USD round trip for two-not bad considering some of the taxi’s etc…which were much more.Turinter was very kind and professional.

This trip, from Santiago to Puerta Plata, while frightening due to the driving of the DR people, is a way to see what the DR is all about. I would suggest sitting in the back of the bus, you can’t see what the driver is doing, and if you ask., he will stop and you can buy Presidente beer for your ride to the resort! The scenery of the north coast is something to behold…the mountains are spectacular! The area is exceptionally poor until you get to the resort.

The resort itself is beautiful. On the side of a mountain and meanders down to the ocean. Many stairs-too many stairs-we didn’t necessarily mind-works off the food and alcohol but be very careful…especially when it rains! I would suggest you take trip insurance out, even if it isn’t hurricane season, in case you fall or have a gastro issue. Your regular health insurance is likely not to cover it and if you use the MD at the resort, big bucks! It is also a time share area but we didn’t bother with the welcome breakfast or anything else that remotely offered time share and we were never bothered.

Rooms are nice…we upgraded to superior and had a room in the 302 section. It is mid section and a really nice and mostly quiet area…overlooking a pool and the ocean beyond.Make sure you get 2nd or 3rd floor so you don’t flood in the rain. You can upgrade beyond this to a villa for more money and they provide a private pool and a woman who cleans and cooks your morning breakfast daily(and for not that much more). We had a great room and balcony…no mini bar..that stinks..carrying your drinks back to your room is difficult and the price to load the mini bar isn’t worth it. Room was cleaned well and never a problem. Would have been nice if they had told us that just down the hill out of the resort (1 minute) was a market where you could get gatorade or beer etc…for a much reduced price.)

Food is good…buffet may get boring but just choose what you like…I did miss the fresh baked bread from casa del mar for breakfast but the sun village still offers homemade omelets with your choice of fixings. Pizza and pasta is decent. The Dominican evening with grilled pig and plenty of Mamajuana liquor seemed to be a hit as well. Goat tastes like steak…I would have never guessed. Fish and chicken is always excellent. No room service or all night food as they suggest in the online information. If you wish to eat at the al la carte restaurants, make sure you go in the morning after you arrive right outside of the buffet to make your reservations….the al la carte restaurants will look empty but without reservations no go….we could only make one and our was at Citrus…absolutely wonderful meal in a wonderful atmosphere…well worth it! We also heard, but didn’t experience Teddy’s Island Bar and Grill which is a very short walk and a safe one down the beach. Terrific food not all inclusive but well worth it. Steaks, ribs, and real burgers! Can’t answer to the Thai and Mexican al al cartes…

Entertainment: NONE…some lame karaoke and singing. Not much to do at all but eat and drink…The resort can take you to the casino, make sure you ask for some free travel to get there…they offered us this our last night..we gave ours to a young couple who could enjoy as they pick you up at 9:30 and bring you back at earliest at midnight….or later…The pools close at 7p, the bars at 7 on the beach and the lobby at 12. The disco at 12 as well…too pretty of a place to close down this early!

The pools are the showcase of this resort. 7 pools which are absolutely gorgeous but chilly. Even in 90 degree heat, they are filtered and chilly! Pristine however and so beautiful to be at…My hubby was looking for the topless area, but not much to be seen, and not even a thong….The grotto area with the swim up tables was the most beautiful and sorely unused… But great picture opportunity!

The beach is lovely…not near as pristine as the south coast and the water is bright blue instead of the green blue of the caribbean. Sand is not white. They offer great double beds you can lounge on and if the surf is up, you can boogie board for free…the snorkeling is not good here…They do have kayak’s and banana boat rides as well.. You also can volleyball twice during the day! They also have tai chi and yoga in a special and very beautiful spot as well. We don’t have kids, but I saw several playing the kids area…not near as nice a kids area as on the south coast we stayed before…

Drinks….well, ask for what you want and you will get something close…one of our bartenders didn’t even know what vodka was..on the other hand, I asked for a michilada, which is a strange, cheap mexican beer with lime, hot sauce and worcestershire sauce, and he actually knew what I was asking….I had to scare people before by making my own….I do have to say the bartenders were drinking it by the end of my trip! The AQUALOUNGE bar is wonderful! The 1000 gallon fish tank has a moray eel and beautiful fish….sit at the bar or in the lovely lounging chairs overlooking the resort and enjoy!

PEOPLE: We met some of the nicest people ever. Leonardo at the bar was so sweet and kind! Also, we met Joel and Jerry and their 3 children…from PA…what a wonderful crew..You and the crew are the bomb. Our friends from Richmond,we are sorry we didn’t get to enjoy you more after the first night, but that was a wild night! Our girls from Chicago and Conneticut put us to shame! What stamina you have! Gosh, if we could just be like you!

Excursions.. we had free passes to Ocean World with our trip….well worth it! I paid an extra 45 dollars US to encounter with Sea Lions….,My goodness, was the best thing I have done! Nothing like a sea lion kissing you , swimming along side of you and sticking out his tongue and messing with you! i LOVED IT! Please check this out if you stay here. even if you have to pay! It was wonderful…My husband went deep sea fishing another day, and didn’t catch a fish….caught a really good rum buzz and got to see a pod of 30 Orca Whales….spellbinding! MADE THE TRIP OH SO GOOD FOR HIM!

I guess I should also say that if you want to get married here, it is the bomb! They offer wonderful packages for a very reasonable price and the v iew is incredible….The packages are so wonderful at least from what I was looking at! SO ROMANTIC!!!!!!!! I wasn’t getting married, but if I would come back, this is the package I would be looking for!

So, in ending, and so sorry for being so long winded…bring lots of 1.00 bills to tip, they need this….Be firm in your bargaining for goods….My buddie antonio who has the decent Larimar jewelry in the lobby area is a sweet man and will offer you a fair deal, just don’t settle…

Please be careful of the rain..the steps and walkways are so slick and filled with water when it is really raining hard…ouc`h! Overall, I have to tell you that we would not return here…The Caribbean Ocean much nicer!I told my hubbie how much I wanted to return to the South Coast/// Either Sunscape Casa Del Mar or Iberostar Dominicus….Much more amenities and much nicer people!

Thanks for listening, and I hope this helps some people in deciding where they may want to go!

Top of Page

February 2006

My husband and I were here for a week in January 2006, and wanted to share our experience.

The room was clean, good size and had a nice terrace. However, there are few "added" luxuries: we’ve been to places where they stock your bar fridge with pop and beer, they do not do that at Sun Village. The room safe cost $35 to get a key to lock your valuables. There is no room service. On days where we put the "do not disturb" sign on the door, the maids came in and cleaned the room anyway. Some days when there was no sign on the door, they didn’t come in. We were also traveling with a group of 50 people (for a wedding) and we know at least 10 of them had to have their rooms switched because when it rained really hard one night, their rooms flooded (anywhere from 1 inch to 6 inches of water on the whole floor area.)

This is not the place for anyone disabled! We could not believe the amount of stair climbing we had to do to get anywhere in the resort. One day we counted how many stairs we had to climb to get from the beach back to our room… 72. Doing that, back and forth from our room, three or more times a day, was a good workout but felt like work!

Really beautiful and there are lots of lounge chairs in the water, so it is perfect for spending a day by the pool. Only two swim up bars that were never busy as far as we could see.

The water is dark, not tropical like you see in Punta Cana or Cuba or Cancun. The week we were there the surf was really choppy and the water rough, so we didn’t spend any time in the ocean… and we didn’t see anyone else in the ocean either.

Very kind and friendly staff; they were very helpful during the buffet meals. The bartending staff was disappointing though — only one bartender per bar at any given time… which meant we were always waiting to get a drink. We tried tipping more, it didn’t help. Also, even though the brochure said there was 24 hour bar and food service, we couldn’t find a bar past 11pm one night (other than the disco) and we couldn’t find food either.

Resort Layout
It took us three days to be able to get ourselves around the resort and find our room on our own. There are few signs to direct you when you are walking around and the layout is really weird — once you "get it" though, you’re ok!

The Thai, Mexican and Gourmet a-la-carte restaurants were superb and the food was absolutely terrific! We loved these meals. The buffet had a lot of options, and most of it was pretty good.

the disco was fun for one night, but dark and tiny, so we didn’t go back after the one night. It wasn’t very busy.

Appointment with Staff
The travel reps who work on staff try to get you to book an appointment with them early in your visit — they say it’s to get you familiar with the resort and help you with anything you need, but in fact, it was a medium-pressure meeting where they wanted us to sign up for a $10,000 purchase of Dominican land that would be developed for resorts and then we’d make lots of tax-free money in return. We politely declined, telling them that $10,000 was not something we could just come up with, and then we were told "do you have something against making money?" and they tried to pressure us to take a loan in that amount, and said it would be worth it in the future when we owned the land. I told them that normally when I pay $3000 for my husband and I to travel, we don’t appreciate being hounded to fork over money and I told them that I thought they were being rude and crass and that I didn’t appreciate the pressure. So, if you go here, don’t take the appointment with them!

Overall, it was a nice week away and the weather cooperated. However, since we have been to such nicer places, we were expecting more. I’d give it a 7.5/10 rating.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Julie

February 2006

*Warning** Be prepared for a week filled with sales pitches. The financial model of the resort depends heavily on the sale of condos on the development. As a result, you’ll have several reminders each day, about why you should buy a condo at the resort. Here’s a typical day: Wake up to find a daily newsletter delivered to your room. While ½ of the newsletter covers the day’s weather forecast and activities at the day, ½ is dedicated to why you should think about buying into the resort. Go to breakfast, and there’s a sign at the buffet that you can have your photo taken with a parrot, for a mere $5 or if you attend a sales pitch on the condo sales, you can have a free photo with the parrot. After breakfast, go back to your room and you’ll see that you have a phone message from you personal concierge, inviting you to attend an information session on how you can own part of the resort. This goes on an on….you’ll be invited to the manager’s cocktail party (where they talk about buying into the resort), you’ll get more voicemails, colour invites to the sales pitch etc… It became a running joke amongst our group, that we started to wager how long until the next time we heard the condo sales pitched to us.

Finally, lured by the prospect of champagne, we finally decided to go to one of the pitches (note: the invitation clearly said there would be champagne at the ‘info session’). Arriving at the session, there was no champagne to be seen. When we asked one of the sales guys about the champagne, he pulled one of the waiters aside and had a quick conversation in Spanish about bringing some champagne out. It was clear from the conversation, that there was never any intention to give us champagne. Finally, the champagne was brought out (after much drama), and the bottle was tucked in the back and never opened.

In addition, during the very slick sales pitch (you too can own a piece of the resort for only $400,000), they stressed the perk of being able to shelter money by funneling money through offshore accounts. What they fail to mention is that after the new laws put in place after 9/11, untraceable money sheltering doesn’t exist anymore, and you’ll still be paying taxes at home one way or another. The whole thing felt sleazy and definitely took away from the peaceful ocean vacation we were looking for.

Tipping – Over 60% of the Dominican population live in poverty, with 26% unemployment and 20% of the country’s population living on less than $1 US per day. The resort jobs are the most coveted jobs, with the some of the highest wages on the island. Minimum wage is less than $2 USD per hour, with hotels & restaurants having a minimum wage of $90 to $150 per month depending on the size of the hotel. (All this information is publicly available from the US department of labour). Take a pile of US $1 bills with you. Leave at least a dollar at every meal, and if the service is great, leave more. What may seem like a small amount of money to you, will mean a lot to those working at the resort.

Electricity – As with many islands, the power isn’t stable. The power went out 5 or 6 times throughout the week, but only for a few seconds at a time, and then the emergency generators would kick in. You’ll be surprised how quickly you adjust to this.

Hot water – sporadic at best. No hot water for the first 4 days, but by day 5, our hot showers were restored.

Stairs – we didn’t mind the stairs, it was a good way to justify all of the drinking. But, if you struggle with stairs, this is not the place for you. >From the beach to the front lobby, there are 88 stairs.

Buffet – Tuesday and Thursday nights the buffet has lobster and it’s yummy! If you like Lobster, be sure not to book these nights in one of the other restaurants.

Horseback riding – one of the highlights of the trip! You can pay $59 USD for a ½ day horseback riding through the hills if you book through your tour guide. If you book through the hotel, you’ll pay $30 for 2 hours. We took the 2 hour option, and I’d recommend this immensely. The view were beautiful, and the experience was well worth it. A word of caution, if you don’t regularly horseback ride, more than 2 hours might be painful. As it was, after 2 hours, when our little group of 10 dismounted, most of us were starting to hurt already.

Minibar – In November 2005, many new rules were instituted at the resort. You’ll see in previous reviews that they used to stock the mini-bar. This is no longer the case. As of 1 November 2005, there is only 1 bottle of water in you mini-bar, so that you can brush your teeth. If you want the mini-bar filled with Coke & Rum, be prepared to pay $50 and upwards.

Golf – We booked the golf package, $275 USD, includes 3 rounds of 18 holes of golf at Playa Dorada Golf Course including cart and free shuttle to the golf course. Yet again, due to changes made in November 2005 this package is no longer honoured by the hotel. Be prepared to spend $35 in taxis to get to the golf course, and $140 per golf game, not including club rentals. The course was beautiful and a fun way to spend ½ a day and if you are a golfer, you’ll know that $140 isn’t unreasonable for a round of golf.

Late Check-Out – Yet another example of the change of information from November. If you read the information in the room, late check-out costs about $80. If you ask the front desk, it costs $150 per person. Your best bet is to heavily tip ($5 to $10) the front desk, and see if that will be enough to get you late check out without any official upcharge.

Safety – The resort is not a secured compound. It is easy for anyone to walk in off the street and walk up to your room. There are security guards around, but not enough of a security presence. I’m glad we didn’t have a room on the ground floor. I would not have felt safe, given the easy access to the rooms from the sliding glass doors on the balcony.

Overall, this is definitely not a 4.5 star resort. I would not go back to this resort.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Russ ~ Montreal

January 2006

Overall we find its a very nice resort

We had a nice room in 30* area, king size bed and roomy everything worked fine, some other people had older rooms not as nice closer to the beach, they got another room when they asked

Buffet is good could have more choice , one night was served a la carte we got the lobster

Restaurants a la carte: Mexican we liked it , try something else than the fajitas Sonora food was also good but service slow for us and a couple of tables

We didnt like the thai restaurant, I guess we were expecting too much. food is ok but nothing close to a good thai restaurant.

There’s also Teddy’s island BBQ which used to be the mexican restaurant we think and now is not part of resort , owner is from Toronto (kept the Toronto prices it seems) he serv! es big burgers , ribs and steaks , majajuana smoked ribs were good , my burger wasn’t great (toast as burger buns), they also show all the big sports events

Drinks bars, very nice aqua lounge relaxing before or after meals, plenty of bars on all levels, good espresso at lobby

Pool /Beach
Beach is nice not too big but just one other hotel close by so not crowded The two pools close to the beach were nice and overlook the ocean Jacuzzi on the beach is a must before supper

Resort was probably half empty so not a lot going on except beach volleyball Nightly show is the usual: dancing, magician , singing: 3 stars for that part Disco music was a lot dominican , and a bit of standard disco , dance. Bring a CD for the DJ it might help

Stairs are not bad, its not just one big staircase , you do get a rest between levels

We didnt go to the investor presentation but visited a villa ! and the manager gave us a 2 minute speech about the possible investments which seem interesting

Skyservice from Montreal on Monday night, if you don’t mind the night flights you get 7 full days

Overall Very nice 4 1/2 stars but a bit quiet that week , we did go for a tour for a day so a good change of pace

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Susan & family ~ Long Island, New York

January 2006

This was a family vacation with 11 people, including my 81 year old Dad. We selectedSun Village because of a previous visit (March 2005) by 2 members of our group.

Getting around the resort

– Lots of steps & walking! Thankfully my Dad is physically fit & in excellent health so the number of stairs did not present a problem. Anyone who cannot navigate lots of steps, some steep, should probably not consider this resort – there are no elevators.

Rooms – we were all in building 201 – 3 rooms on second floor, 2 on the third. These were standard rooms – simply decorated & very clean. Basic amenities in the room which the EMI Sun Village website does not tell you about included iron & ironing board, a coffee maker & hair dryer (also shampoo, etc.). Electricity is the same as in the US & Canada so no need for adapters. No fitted sheets on mattress so if you toss & turn, they will be in a bunch under you by morning. Water pressure was terrible most days in the morning & late afternoon to the point that on a couple of occasions, we had to sponge bathe before dinner – late showers were better. Our phone also did not work – seemed to be a line problem which the telephone company never came to fix. Other guests we spoke to complained of similar water & phone problems. We were offered the opportunity to change rooms but since we did not want to be in a different location/ building from our other family members we did not make a change. Lock for in room safe was $15 US for the week & a $20 refundable deposit. Large jug of water provided in small refrigerator for drinking – Warnings were posted in bathrooms not to drink the tap water. Water at meals, ice in drinks & in food preparation was purified & no one had any problems in that regard.

Food – was good, some very good, plentiful with a wide variety at the main buffet. You could always find something to eat. We ate at each of the 3 restaurants, Sonora, Lemongrass & Citrus, these were also good.

Beach – they work hard to keep the resort’s section of the beach well maintained. Other reviews point out the large Ocean World sign at one end of Cofresi beach & though not what one wants to look at, it can easily be ignored. After one day of rain, when we walked the beach toward Ocean World, we observed a significant amount of garbage that washed up. We were not sure where the source was but since this was not part of the resort, clean up did not seem to be a priority to whoever should have been responsible.

Leaving the resort

– the only times were when the men went to play golf at Playa Dorado & one night most of group went to the Casino, we did not do any tours or side trips.

Rain – one whole day lost to rain, so we spent most of our time in the large hot tub by the beach. No one enforces the ‘Adults only’ rule, which was not a problem until some families brought children under 10 years old into the hot tub.

Entertainment & activities – entertainment staff worked very hard to provide lots to do. A daily schedule was usually provided. There were beach volleyball games, pool volleyball & water polo, other poolside games. They have a selection of books to read & board games which were put out at tables in the theater on the day it rained. There is a half court for shooting hoops, pool tables, ping pong, etc. There are also bicycles available. Evening entertainment was okay – usually involved audience participation – not for the easily embarrassed. New Year’s Eve was one big party in & around the theater with fireworks at midnight. The disco, Opus was usually not crowded – it’s not your big city club but was fun.

Staff – was very friendly.

Bugs – Other reviews claim they didn’t see any – several of us ended up with more bug bites than we get at home in the summer – bring bug repellent just to be safe.

Medical attention – there is someone on the premises, usually a nurse but there is a doctor on call. Hopefully, you never need it but we did & they were excellent. My 24 year old son has a severe walnut allergy & is careful to avoid foods that could contain them or other similar nuts (he can eat peanuts & almonds but avoids all others). After playing golf the men in our group had lunch at the buffet. Having one bit of pasta with pesto sauce, my son knew immediately that he was reacting to something. They headed back to our rooms to give him an antihistamine but before they reached the room his reaction began to escalate into a severe asthmatic reaction. If I hadn’t decided to go back to the room, I’m not sure how they would have found me on the property. My son was in extreme distress & fortunately, his room had a working phone. I spoke to the nurse who was in the on premises clinic & explained the situation. Fortunately, her English was excellent because noe of us spoken Spanish well enough. Considering the doctor had to come from off premises, it was probably only 10-15 minutes for them to arrive at the room. The doctor & nurse arrived & administered the appropriate medications to alleviate the problem. They were very professional & communicated openly with me regarding the treatment. We were able to pay for the treatment by credit card & they provided a receipt & form that could be submitted to our son’s insurance plan. If your personal insurance plan does not cover out of country medical expenses, then be sure to purchase travel insurance which will cover it.

Money – Dominican money is a closed currency so once you exchange it you better spend it or your stuck with it. The ATM in the hotel only provides pesos. Vendors accept US money or pesos. Bring cash in small denominations. Be prepared to haggle over price. Down on the beach, the more you buy the better they will bargain with you. Be careful on the beach about buying Larimar jewelry on the beach, it may not be real or may not be set in sterling sliver.

Overall, we had a nice week and I would consider going back IF they fix the water pressure & phone problems

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Blair And Amanda ~ Barrie, Ontario

December 2005

My wife and I travelled to the Sun Village beach resort on Dec 4-11 2005. We booked with Sunwing Vacations and found them to be very good. This was our forth time to the Dominincan and third time to Puerto Plata area.

The resort is quite large and has lots of stairs which didn’t bother us in the least. In our opinion the stairs make this resort unique in the way that there are many levels and each level has something to offer. The views from the top part of the resort are amazing. The mountain in the distance is breath-taking. The Sun Village is a very pretty resort and the grounds are perfect. There are many great photo spots on the resort.

We stayed in a superior room because of a tip from a family member who had been the past year. The rooms were very clean and the maid service was great. We tipped with pencils and school supplies for the kids. Our room was at the base of the stairs from the kids pool so we were very close to the pools and the restaurants at the front of the resort.

The pools are amazing. We especially enjoyed the adults only pools at the top and on the 2nd tier. Most days we had the 2nd tier pool to ourselves. The resort was basically a "ghost town" when we were there. I am not sure if it had to do with the time of year but it was great. We had the place to ourselves. The sound of the waterfalls is very relaxing. It is great how the loungers sit in the pool on a ledge. You bum is actually in the water so when you get up from the chair you will have a wet bum. Its nice for sun bathing and keeping cool.

The restaurant foods was good. We always found something to eat. We don’t like seafood so a few nights we had salad and pasta at the buffet. We went to the Sonora (mexican) and Citrus a la cartes and we both really enjoyed the food and atmosphere. We never went to the Thai restaurant.

There are tons of bars so you don’t need to go far to find one. Our favourite was the Aqua Lounge that had the giant fish tank built behind the bar. You could also see the tank from the other side in the Malibu buffet. Drinks were good quality and we always goT fast service.

We didn’t spend much time at the beach since we are not beach people, we prefer the pools. We took a few walks down there and it seemed nice. I like the beaches in the Playa Dorada area better.

We only saw a few shows at night because they were pretty much the same as the other resorts and we knew what to expect.

Overall The Sun Village was a great resort and we would recomend it to anyone…well except for older people who have trouble with stairs.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Marc ~ Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada

December 2005

We had the great luck to book a trip to the Sun Village Beach Resort.

There were 6 in our party, 3 children ranging in ages from 16 to 9 as well 3 adults, we found this resort to be fabulous overall. The food was incredible, whether at the a’la carte reataurants or in the buffet; incredible varieties and flavours provided. Rooms, we had a standard room and choose not to upgrade, it is the basic room, very clean and practical for a family . We did have a problem with our airconditioner but it was handled very quickly, within 15 minutes, super fast by Domincan standards.

Staff at the resort are the best we have ever dealt with. You will never meet such a fun and accomodating group of people who do go out of there way to make you feel welcome and cared for. Everyone in our group truly felt this was the number one reason for the fantastic experience at this resort.

Stairs, this needs to be mentioned beacause if you arent able to get around or up and down stairs easily this resort could pose problems for you. We found the excercise great as we overindulged in the great food and drink but if you are mobility challenged you should rethink this resort. Entertainment, evening shows were fun and simple, the disco was small but fun, we didnt need alot of evening shows as we toured during the days and relaxed more in the evenings. Again we found the staff full of energy and looking to get you up and having fun. Overall we feel this resort was a great deal for the money. We would recomend it to all.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort B. Waite ~ Middlesex, England

August 2005

hi my husband,and our 11 yr old daughter stayed at the sun village ,5/8/05 to 13/8/05 we had the best holiday ever we have booked again to retun on july 24 2006 for 2 weeks this time and we cant wait . every thing was great , room, people ,food activites and so clean , everything was superb would recommend it to everyone such warm and friendly people . i cant wait to return , not bothered now about the coming winter, or my hard work , i got the dominican republic/sun village to look forward to, only 329 days to go and counting and we cant wait.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Kristen ~ Regina, SK, Canada

July 2005

There were 16 of us that went to Sun Village for our wedding back in January 2005 (I figured this review is better late than never). We were so worried after reading all the negative reviews, I promised myself if we had a good time, to post a good review for all to read.

First impression when we pulled up: Fantastic – this place is gorgeous!!! We were not very impressed with the other resorts that we had seen while the Signature shuttle was dropping other people off, but we breathed a huge sigh of relief when we saw the entrance / lobby of Sun Village!

Check in: Because we were there for our wedding, and half of our guests had already been at the resort for a week, we had lots of smiling faces (that we recongnized) to greet us, and then there was the staff – they were wonderful!! They took our luggage immediately and were so friendly and helpful the whole time. We visited for a bit with our friends and family that were already there, but then decided that we should check in. I was given a cold, delicious, fruity drink while I was at the front desk checking in. I mentioned to the gentleman at the front desk that we were there for our wedding and that we were to receive a room upgrade if possible. He told me that it would be taken care of. We visited for a while more until the remaining 5 in our group checked in, everything seemed to go smoothly.

First impression of the grounds: Even though it was cloudy and had been raining that day, the grounds looked beautiful!! While our group caught up on the past week’s events, some of us wandered around to look the pools and the beach. We were very happy with what we saw. At this time, I had found the spot where I thought that the wedding ceremony should take place. It was a little stone area that overlooked the beach – it was exactly what I had dreamed of. We wandered back up to the lobby to meet up with the rest of the group again. We decided to check out our rooms, get freshened up and meet up at the buffet restaurant for dinner.

Our rooms: We were driven to our room by two bell boys and our luggage was all taken in for us. Our room was #30713 in the building called “Orquideas”. It was about halfway between the lobby and the beach – the best location. The outside of the building was very pretty. The room was very nice. It was simple, clean and the bathroom was quite large with a huge marble counter. We had a king sized bed (like we had requested) and a large patio with lounge chairs and had a great view of a garden and path. We changed up and met up with our friends and family at the buffet restaurant for dinner.

The restaurants: When I thought of a buffet restaurant I had a picture in my head of a cafeteria (plain décor and lots of tables). Instead, we found the buffet restaurant was beautiful!! It was very nicely decorated with nicely set tables and many staff ready to get you drinks. There was so much food and it all looked great. Over the coarse of the next two weeks we had roast pork, roast turkey, lobster, fajitas, jumbalaya, pizza, ice cream, pasta, fresh fruit, smoothies, omletts and the list goes on. Everyday the food was different and there was always such a good selection that we wouldn’t have had to eat the same thing more than twice the whole trip. I thought the pizza was great and my husband loved the ice cream. There was always water, wine, beer or any other drink that you wanted from the bar if you wanted it. We had our wedding night dinner at Ovandos (the meditteranean restaurant) and we found it to be good. The food was nothing extraordinary, but it was definitely very nice. Our families had gone to Ovando for dinner one night the week before and said that is was very good. They had set a large table to accommodate our group of 16 for dinner and set the table with our centerpiece and candles. They played a CD that we brought after dinner for our first dance right there in the middle of the restaurant. It was great! I went upstairs and through my bouquet over the railing to all the single girls that gathered down below and my husband threw me up on the bar to remove my garter and tossed that out in the crowd. The staff seemed to have no problem with the commotion that we caused in the otherwise quiet and romantic restaurant. The Thai restaurant was fantastic!! We enjoyed everything that we ordered, the service was great, and the décor was beautiful! We only ate at this restaurant one time (during our 2nd week) because the first week was very hectic with the wedding plans and some of us getting sick. I’ll fill you in on that later. I didn’t ever eat at the Mexican restaurant because the night that everyone went I was in bed sick. I heard that the food was good, the service was good and the atmosphere was very nice. Most people in the group went twice, but we couldn’t go the second week because it was closed for the most part preparing for the SuperBowl party that would be held there that week. There was also a beach bar where you could get snacks all day long (nice to be able to grab something quick between meals while you are on the go). They had nachos and salsa, fried chicken and fries, burgers and hotdogs, and deserts. The food was good and we found the service was very good for a laid back little snack shack on the beach. It was so relaxing just pulling up to a table overlooking the beach – what a view!!

All in all, the food was great!! We didn’t know what to expect for food in an all inclusive resort, but we were all very pleasantly surprised with the selection, quality, and presentation of the food. In fact, I am concerned that if we go anywhere else, we will likely be hard pressed to find food this good again!

The wedding coordinator: I had heard many horror stories of destination weddings gone bad!!! I had been in constant contact with my coordinator by email for about 6 months prior to our arrival. I was sure that things would go well, but I had heard from many people that everything seems great until you arrive and they have nothing planned!!! My parents, future in-laws, and sister arrived one week before we did, and they met with Rocia – our wedding coordinator. My sister emailed me to let me know that she was ready for us to arrive – everything was ready to go. I figured that even if things were completely messed up, my sister would never let me know (and my mom, mother-in-law and her would have it all fixed by the time I arrived), they knew that I was worried to start with! Well, the day after we arrive, there was a meeting set up with her about 10am to pick flowers, site for the ceremony and cake, etc. As soon as I came through the door, she gave me a huge hug and was very excited to finally meet me!! From then on the planning was a breeze. The meeting lasted about 30 minutes, and then I was on my way – a happy bride.

Becoming sick: Well, no one in our group had gotten sick in the first week before we arrived. The first to go down – my soon-to-be husband. One day before the wedding, he woke up and about 6am, and let’s just say, before noon, I had the doctor in our room to see him. The doctor assured us that he would be fine to be married the next day, but I was skeptical, so I went to visit Rocia. She was paniced! This has apparently never happened before, but she told me that I would need to let her know before 5pm that day if I wanted to postpone it for one day (that would cost us double for the judge because it would now be held on a weekend). I let her know later on that we wanted to push it back a day, and she handled all the details (flowers, cake, dinner reservations, the judge, the trio. . . . ) I am very glad that we postponed it, because my hubby was on IV for the next 24 hours. He didn’t move from bed until noon the day before the wedding. At that point it was slow going for another 5 – 7 hours for him. He hadn’t eaten in quite some time. For the next week, about half of our guests came down with this illness, none as serious as my husband’s. The day after the wedding, I came down with the same thing. I spent one whole day in bed, but did not require in IV. The next day I was up and at ‘em, but not quite my usual chipper self! None of the people in our group blame our illnesses on the resort (we are from Regina where there was a plane quaratined with the Norwalk virus right before we left), it is a risk you take when you travel to this type of destination. The resort was very clean and never once did any of us feel like anything at Sun Village would cause us to become ill. The doctor at the resort was great and so were the nurses. They took great care of my husband the whole time he was sick.

The wedding: The whole day was perfect! The ceremony was planned for 12 noon at the little stone area overlooking the beach. I slept in my sister’s room the night before (she was my maid of honour) and we waited until my fiance left my room in the morning, so I could go back there to get ready. My sister and I did our own hair and makeup (very simple) and were ready in about one hour. My parents met us in my room and we waited (and had some pictures taken) until the staff arrived to take us to the site. My flowers were delivered and they were perfect! We were driven to the site in a mini van and waited down the path from the beach for the judge to arrive. I think he was a few minutes late, but I didn’t even care – I was so excited! When they were ready for us, we began our walk down the path the sand aisle that was framed with palm trees and lounge chairs. My fiance and all of our guests were waiting for us at the end. It was so fun – there were about 100 people just cheering and whistling (they all new that I was the bride that almost didn’t get married because her fiance was on IV). The weather was perfect – sunny and hot. The ceremony was short and sweet, then we had champagne and cake on the beach with our family and friends. One of the best parts was the Dominican trio that played guitar behind me while I walked down the aisle and while we signed the register. It was beginning to look like rain, so we got some pictures on the beach, and then went for lunch at the buffet restaurant. It was still raining, so we all decided to go have a quick siesta before dinner. We met up again about 1 hour before the dinner was planned to take some family pictures.

Reception: The dinner was great! The restaurant was very accomodating – as I mentioned earlier, they let us have our first dance and throw the bouquet and garter right in the middle of the restaurant. They had one table set for all of us and it was really romantic in there. Just how we imagined it. After dinner, we changed and some of us went to the evening show.

The Pools: They are absolutely gorgeous!!! We really enjoyed the pool by the beach (there was only one because the other one was being repaired from a fire), and the one with the waterfall. We never found that it was too busy to get a lounge chair, and there were not very many kids around. We didn’t spend much time in the ocean, so the pools were where we were most of the day. They were huge and very clean, and you can take the lounge chairs right in the water.

The Beach: We found the beach to be quite nice. There were always lots of chairs and there was beach volleyball and music a lot of the time. The little snack restaurant on the beach was a nice touch so you didn’t have to go far for something to eat. The washrooms on the beach were nicer than I would have even expected in the lobby of the hotel. We couldn’t believe how clean they were – they even had marble counters! Someone mentioned that the Ocean World sign was an eyesore. That exact sign made its way into some of my wedding pictures (strangers in speedos too) and it didn’t bother me one bit!

Sun Village Overall: I would recommend this resort to anyone! It is rated a 4.5 star – and I think that it deserves at least that. My husband and I have never been to another all inclusive resort, but others in our group have done a lot of travelling and said the same thing. We are planning another trip this year, and want to go somewhere else (not the Dominican), but are worried that we will not be as happy with another resort as we were with Sun Village. The staff, rooms, grounds, pools, food, and beach were fantastic. We are already planning to return for our 5 year anniversary (if not sooner). Do not worry if you have read all the negative reviews of this resort (I read them too, and was very scared), they are wrong. Because we were getting married there, our expectations were very high. Sun Village exceeded everything that we hoped for and more!!

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Philadephia

May 2005

emi sun village—–after reading many of the reviews on this property both pro and con, we booked. our package was $588 plus taxes and included airfare from newark and deluxe accommodations for 6 days 5 nights. we were able to eat and drink all day at very clean and tastefully decorated locations around the resort. the food and drinks were pretty good; not great; but, pretty good. however, the staff was wonderful (in particular mike gibb), the buildings beautiful, the gardens lush, and the pools numerous and never a wait for a chair or lounge. sun village is on par or nicer than many higher priced locations i have stayed. there are, however, a few problems:

the steps. they are everywhere and very high. you can’t avoid them. whether you are in great condition or not, they are an obstacle to getting around the resort. many people that i spoke to avoided doing things at the resort because of the effort it required to get around.

lack of entertainment. they did have little shows at night and a very small "disco"; but, overall not much to do. like every other resort, there are some adventure tours offered at fairly expensive prices. they were suppose to be alot of fun. at least, that is what some of the other guests reported. additionally, twice a week there is transportation provided to and from the local casino; but, that is little more than a couple of dozen slot machines and a few tables.

location: sun village is in cofresi and there is nothing–i mean nothing going on there except for ocean world a new, open to the public, unfinished park (a mini sea world). sun village is on cofresi beach which is the least attractive part of this whole place. cofresi is near the town of puerto plata. don’t expect to find a quaint little town for afternoon shopping or being able to stop to have a cold drink at a cute domenican restaurant/bar. forget it—–puerto plata is unbelievably poor, run down, and in my opinion dangerous.

diamond located in the rough——this is probably the way all great resort areas start out and in 10 years puerto plata will be as popular as cancun——-maybe i’ll go back then!

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Andrew

May 2005

EMI Sun Village is an excellent travel value. You must look wisely for prices, as they vary widely, but you should be able to get very reasonable costs for at least average accomodations and food. The real draw of this property is the physical plant. The pools are quite lovely as are the grounds and the lobby.

The restaurants serve the typical middling quality food that most "special" restaurants serve at all-inclusives. The ubiquitous buffet served more a than adequate variety of fairly bland food at all three seatings daily. The evening meal changes in "theme." There was enough "healthy" food to satisfy everyone with us. There is plenty of high-carb and junk food if you want to pig out.

The ocean is there, but it is a long walk from many rooms. The ocean vista is just o.k. and the water is far from a "beautiful Caribbean blue". There are at least 5 pools, but only two are really special and one is for kids only, and it has a water slide, something children seem to gravitate toward.

Our room was adequate. It was a standard room. I hear the deluxe rooms are nicer and that there are many levels of "Villas" for the tony crowd. The television reception was marginal to poor. There were many stations, but the ones in English were limited to two or three with good reception. For the others one needed to overlook the poor picture or the poor sound quality. Requests for repair were ignored.

Only one of us got sick. And only for one day. No symptoms other than lethargy, slight ongoing nasuea, and no desire to eat anything. 24 hours later all symptoms vanished. We are world travellers and know what we are doing. One of us got sick ONCE in years of travel drinking water from the Niger River that we incompletely chlorinated and filtered. Trust me, we know what we are doing. There were reports of people who were a heck of a lot sicker, but I do not know if they were really sicker or the overzealous hotel doctor, who everyone described as lovely and a good doctor, had to justify his $500.00 [sic] fee by hooking everyone he saw to an intravenous [I.V.] and dispensing at least 5 bottles of pills. I’m no doctor, but maybe this is overkill. We met some of the sick people, now recovered, usually within 24-48 hours, who usually took out their own IV’s after 8-12 hours. I have no idea what this was about.

The property is a variation on a time share. Not that I would want to go back here as there are too many other places to see. Yet they do a bit of a soft push. It is an easy "orientation meeting" to avoid and there were not really any incentives [unless you consider a copy of a picture of you with a small monkey worth your time]. Some people seem to think it is the next Disneyland. They were easy to spot by either their glazed eyes or their special "VIP" silver bracelets.

We were robbed. I know, you’re supposed to get robbed in these places. No, you’re not. I made the mistake of leaving a credit card in my pants along with a pocket knife, in my locked room. Everything else we placed in the room safe [not free-but if you go there use it]. Y’know, I just forgot that one credit card. $1600 later we got a call from Visa security. I know what you are thinking. The reason we didn’t notice the card missing because it was a secondary card and it was taken on our next to last day. Hotel management showed some initial concern, but even their faux interest quickly vanished and they do not return emails. I even sent them a copy of the charges as they were all nearby and easily traceable. No interest. Nada. They have a dangerous employee on their hands and do not seem to care. I must presume they know who the person[s] is/are. Yes, Visa ate the charges, bless them. The knife is history.

All this said, I would recommend this resort for a three to five day "chill out". Eat consciously, keep all valuables in the safe, do not bother with either the entertainment or the disco, and enjoy the ambiance. There are plenty of Dominican smiles and sun to keep you distracted and help you relax.

Here’s a hint: because a taxi to the airport is $35.00 U.S. plus tip each way, you may want to rent a car for your last two days. The car will cost about $65.00 U.S., so the real cost for a car for the one day is about $25.00.

And yes, Dominicans drive like maniacs. That’s part of the fun. Just don’t play chicken with them. They know their roads and they all play by the rules that you don’t know. Have fun, drive slowly, and wave as they go by you.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Jack ~ Nova Scotia

April 2005

just returned from 7 days at the EMI Sun Village Resort (April 8 to 15). I was pleasantly surprized by the quality of the resort and the food available. I didn’t have expectations that a 4 or 5 star in the Dominican is the same as a 4 or 5 star in Canada or the US but I was excited to see the beautiful grounds.

The room was not the room shown on the website so if you want something better than a 3 star room you should upgrade to a Deluxe Standard or better. The room was clean but was clearly 10 years old or more. There was two double beds, a stocked fridge, tv and bathroom with shower & tub, closet and a lovely deck off the room with two larger plastic lawn chairs. Nothing sparkling but adequate.

The grounds of the resort are magnificent. All of the lawns, shrubs and flowering bushes are mature and in full bloom. It was lovely walking around during the day and evening. There are occasional blackouts so bring a portable flashlight with you. It usually went out every night for a minute or two …every time we were on the stairs on the way back from dinner.

The resort is built on a mountain-side so you will encounter stairs at some point in your day to day travels around the resort. We were in the Gardenview buildings (3rd floor) which meant we had those stairs to deal with plus lovely stone staircases (3) between us a the nearest restaurant (the buffet). I am not a particularly fit person (not a regular gym goer) and I had no problem but I wouldn’t recommend someone with an injury or severe heart problems to go up and down these stairs all week in the 35+ celcius heat. If you take your time and enjoy the views (pools, gardens, etc) it may add to your experience.

I enjoyed the food very much in all of the three a la carte restaurants and the Malibu buffet. There is a mexican restaurant near the beach. For this one, you would go to the lobby and be driven to the restaurant as walking down there after sunset is not recommended. There are guards along the perimeter of the resort and it is very close to some private dwellings. As well, there are tarantulas and scorpions (although I wouldn’t have known that if someone there hadn’t told me). For the Citrus Restaurant (high end/high quality) you would go near the lobby and the Thai Restaurant (also high end/high quality) near the middle of the main complex. There is a beach buffet (Drifters) which is not open 24 hours (no restaurant was when I was there so I’m not sure where the 24 hours snacks were). The only time I felt quesy was after I ate there….I don’t recommend it for food but it is a lovely spot for sitting out and having a refreshment overlooking the beach. There were burgers, fries, nachos, etc there.

There was a lovely little secluded spot (shaped like a lightbulb) with white flowers on the shrubs on the walkway into a circular area with a white gazebo where weddings were taking place all week. Very nice. I did see a pretty white wedding cake and a table with champagne glasses there one day. Looked great for a small secluded wedding. The area seemed to be able to hold about 30 comfortably.

There was one very large pool near the lobby/theatre area which had a two swim up bars and two bridges connecting different areas. As well the next level down had a small pool with a waterfall. Down another level was a kiddy pool also with a waterfall and a kiddy mushroom shower area (kiddy play room off of that area). Down another level was another pool where activities seemed to be going on every morning (spanish lessons, pool volleyball, stretching, etc). This pool also had a sheltered area with two pool tables, fuzeball, ping pong table, henna tattoes, etc. This was also where you would get your towels, bicycles, etc. There was a swim up bar here as well. Down a lush walkway toward the beach you will find another pool (Dolphin pool..just the name…no dolphins). Next to this area is another pool and a building under construction which looks like it will house one of the restaurants at some future date. Looks like it will be pretty. Down from this (very short distance) is the beach and the beachbuffet (Drifters Bar) mentioned earlier.

There seemed to be plenty of loungers available everywhere we went at any time of the day and for two days during my stay the resort was at 100% capacity. I don’t see a problem there. No one saves their loungers with towels ….I hate that. If your not there take your towel with you.

EMI Ambassadors
This resort has a couple of couples who split up and roam the resort striking up random conversations with you at the buffet, etc. These people turn out to be a pain as they are always there when you turn around wherever you go. Their objective seemed to be to get us into the Shareholders Presentation (aka orientation) in exchange for free picture with the spider monkey or parrot. This was the only really negative part of our trip and I would advise the resort to discontinue this practice of hiring ambassadors. Attending the presentation was fine,although long and boring in a smelly boardroom, which should not have carpet in those temperatures. It was the tricks and harassment to get us there that was bothersome.

The entertainment is adequate. Some of the dancers are very good and they all try very hard. It is not Las Vegas so don’t expect professional shows. It is something to do every evening for an hour or so and we enjoyed. it.

The only bugs I saw anywhere were the cockroaches flying around in the lobby every night. One landed on my leg (about 2 inches long). Yikes!!!!

Computer Accessibility
There is an office area with 5 computers and a few jacks. You can buy minutes on the internet, etc from the attendant at a reasonable price. We paid $6 USD for 60 minutes (which ticked away fast….it seemed) but the accessibility was good to have. As well, you can rent cell phones for $35 USD a week there.

There were shops and beach vendors at the resort. An ATM machine on site (out of service during my visit) and a bank onsite (only provides Dominican Pesos which is a closed currency…you can’t change it back to any other currency so be careful with that).

All in all it was a lovely resort and I would return again..but to an upgraded room.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Kia and Lida ~ Orange County, California

April 2005

My wife and I stayed at Sun Village Beach Resort April 14th to 18th. I read most of the reviews before going and can not agree with many of them. First of all, the room was great. Our room was so clean and new that it looked like it had just been renovated (even though it was not). I can not believe all the negative comments on the room. I have stayed in Hyatt Carib Cancun which is officially rated 5 stars and this room was as good if not better than the deluxe rooms there. Yes it had a musty smell and things never got completely dried out but that would be the case in any tropical climate. The room in Hyatt was the same and would be the same in any other hotel. After reading the reviews, I took soap and shampoo with me and then felt stupid. They had very nice selection of soaps, shampoos, conditioner, bath gel, body lotion, and even shower cap which were replenish daily just like any other first class hotel. They even included a candle (for smell or romance!). I should mention our room was a deluxe room, but I can not imagine how much worse a standard room could have been.

The grounds were beautiful as everyone else has mentioned. The pools were wonderful. The water was very warm unlike what I had read here. The beach was just ordinary. Nothing special! The sand is brown and the water dark blue. They told us there are no ocean view rooms in the hotel but from what I saw and other reviews I’ve read, this is not true. I do not know why they just don’t say it is not available. And maybe that is just one of the annoying things about the culture, they rather lie than disappoint you with the truth. Other than that, the employees were all very friendly and helpful and over all service was great.

The food in the buffet was very good. The pastas were great. And the barbecued meat was good. The service was very good as well. The restaurants were mix:

The Mediterranean was wonderful. The lamb chop there was excellent. The service was great. (5/5)

The Thai wasn’t very good. The food was cold and tasteless. The service was ok. (2+/5)

The Mexican was really bad. The food was again cold and tasteless (The soup was very good but not what on the menu). The service was very bad. It was strangely very different than rest of the resort. (2/5)

In general, other than the Mediterranean, the a la carte food seemed to be the same meat from the buffet but served cold with some sauce poured on top of it to make it ethnic. The reservation process was a bit confusing and cumbersome. You had to be there before 3pm to make reservation for the same day and after 3pm to make it for the next day, meaning that if you went there at noon to make it for the next day they would not do it. Now, if they enforced this or not depended on the person and how nice/pushy you were. Besides, the hours told was not the same as what was printed on the handout you are given at check in. This type of discrepancy was common all over. I guess this again has to do with the culture being more relaxed in general. They don’t just strictly follow the guidelines. Some just make their own rules as they see fit.

Other than the cultural differences that I mentioned above which we did not mind at all I think the hotel was run great. I believe these type of differences are the reason you would want to travel to a foreign country. If everything is just like home then why even travel.

As far as excursions, we only went to Paradise Island. We booked it with Coco Tours at the hotel. The cost was $82 per person but since we paid with credit card, with the exchange rate the rep used (just off of her head not a published rate), we ended up pay paying $90 per person. We did this last minuet because it was raining the last two days there and we were kind of bored. So I did not really shop around, otherwise, I’m sure you can get much better deals if you talk to different tour reps or the people on the beach. The island was amazing (little piece of sand in the middle of ocean). The snorkeling was awesome (lively coral reef). But, the trip going was not worth it at all. They told us it takes two hours with a speed boat ride and no other details. We first rode in a bus on a super-bumpy unpaved rode for 3 hours. Then we took the speed boat (which was actually very fun) for another 20 minuets to the island. We stayed there for 2 hours. And had to go through the long trip back on the bumpy road again.

As far as sickness. I got sick on the last day (the excursion day) of our stay. I believe it was due to the shake I had for breakfast. Because that was the only time I had that. Either the fruits were not washed or the person who made it had not washed her hands. They do not use gloves and they touch the fruit and ice they blend all the time.

Over all, we had a nice trip and would definitely go back to DR. We usually stay at different places just for variety. One more thing: Don’t s read too many reviews… you spoil the surprise of it. That’s the mistake I made. Just go and enjoy it!

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Ted and Marlene from Ontario

April 2005

We just returned from an extended stay at Sun Village and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. First we had an "adult" holiday with friends, then we had our children join us for some family fun. We all felt that it was the best vacation ever. The food was fabulous; even after three weeks the buffet always had something new to offer. We had no difficulty getting reservations at the restaurants, and even though my family enjoyed the Mexican the best, Citrus was my favourite.

Because agriculture is one of the main industries on the island, there was always an abundant supply of flesh fruit and vegetables, like white asparagus, fresh snow peas, pineapple, and papaya. What a wonderful treat. The chicken, pork, and even the beef dishes were cooked to our taste, and we were very impressed with the selection.

We didn’t mind the stairs, and found that all of the walking helped with the over indulgence of eating and drinking. The staff was very friendly and helpful, and our family particularly enjoyed meeting some of the local people who lived just outside the resort.

The tennis professionals were very obliging, and our children took tennis lessons on several occasions. The courts were well maintained, and it was wonderful having our own ball boy.

One of the features at the resort that impressed us was the number of charities set up to help the locals. We took the time to investigate these further, and had an opportunity to meet some great human beings who are making a difference in the lives of the local people. This gave a very healthy balance to an otherwise self-indulging experience.

We look forward to our next vacation at Sun Village, and taking all of our family with us.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Raine and Bria from Brooklyn, NY

April 2005

My 11 year old daughter and I stayed at the beautiful Sun Village Resort in Puerta Plata. We arrived on Saturday March 26th and stayed until the 30th of March. The first day, we got in late due to the van driver not knowing exactly where he was taking us, but upon arrival at the resort we were extremely pleased to be there and forgot all about our journey from the airport. We were greeted at the font desk, handed out room keys, we stayed in room 30714 and the bell boy gave us a lift to our room. Before we left the lobby area, Fancis greeted us to tell that he would be our personal concierge and that we would see him the next morning at the orientation. We got to our room, which was perfect, unpacked and were on our way to the pool to catch the few rays of sun that were still hanging around. We then went to the Malibu buffet for dinner as you need to make dinner reservation either the night before or very early that morning. We enjoyed the animation groups performance and later that night I went to the resort’s disco. I have to admit that I was not very impressed with the DJ’s playing style, but nonetheless had a decent time. The next morning we enjoyed a nice day at pool side (by the way they have 5 and 2 under construction). That night we ate at the Mexican restaurant, which was fabulous! We only had access to one English channel on the TV and no remote, which for an 11 year old was the end of the world, especially since the only English channel was CNN. I had read other reviews complaining about the amount of stairs, but that was never a problem to us, we just looked at is as a little exercise between meals. The beach area is nice, though over the weekend it was filled with locals and I was not really impressed by it. I also though the gift shops were extremely over priced and I have done my share of traveling. I did get a relaxation massage and indeed it was just that, I left there feeling like a new woman. I did have a few complaints, but nothing worth mentioning. All in all we both had a wonderful time and I look forward to returning to the resort, once they have finished building the 2 additional pools, the beach side restaurant and doing over the beach. I would recommend this resort, especially as an all inclusive, to anyone looking for a great time away from their everyday life!

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Mary ~ NYC

March 2005

My girlfriend and I just returned from Sun Village Beach Resort in Puerto Plata on March 21, 2005. We went to celebrate my birthday and spent 4 night there and went through Apple Tours which provided excellent service.

First off this is not a resort to go to if you have difficulties with STAIRS. You must be able to go up and down. There are no elevators and some of the room building have 3 floors. The resort is BEAUTIFUL and VERY CLEAN.

We left from NY JFK which was a hassle in that it took a hour and a half to check-in. It was slow since so many people had so many bags and document issues. Get there at least 3 hours early because you still need to get through the custom search where you have to remove your shoes and who knows what else.

In Puerto Plata we had no problems. You have to purchase a $10.00 tourist card upon arrival. They do random searches. Our tour guide (Apple) was outside when we arrived and had a list of all arriving. Be careful because people try to pick you up. Look for your tour guide name tag and they should have a list with your name. I also saw GOGO tours there.

Resort: It is on a hillside and have great views since it is built on levels. I will say there are about 7 levels (going down stairs). Level 1 = the Lobby which is open and beautiful. Here you will find the lobby bar, shops, theatre, internet cafe, small exercise room, hair salon and massage and lobby lounge. Also here upstairs are some suites. Also on this top level before entering you have the tennis court buildings – closer to the courts and this also have levels. Level 2 = Oasis pool (adults), swim up bar and bar, restaurant & wine bar, open market (Thur/Fri), Level 3 = Malibu buffet, Opus disco, conference center, Thai restaurant, Santos Bar (we dubbed Thai Bar/lounge), tour desk, waterfall pool. Level 4 = Kids Club and pool, kids water slide, lounge chairs for parents. Level 5 = the 300 buildings. Level 6 = the 200 buildings, Dolphin pool & swim up bar, bar, towel center, activities hut (basket ball hoop, pool tables, fuse ball, books, etc) – this pool has net for pool volley ball and this is a younger crowd and noisy and fun. Level 7 = pathway instead of stairs to beach and more 300 bldg. rooms, Coconut pool, beach volley ball and other activities, drifters bar, water sport hut, beach. The sand is a beige/taupe color.

Note: There is construction going on (you do not hear at night). They plan to have the SPA section built by the end of August early September. So, you can only get a basic body massage in a room that you can still hear what is happening outside. They do not have full spa services. This is basic store front massage service for $35.00 for 30 minutes.

Room: I guess we had a standard room which I will rate on the level of a Quality or Comfort Inn. The bed was okay the sheets were not fitted so they were off by morning. The pillows were lumpy. I like that they did not have carpet. We had a small balcony which has two chairs and a table. The deluxe rooms have lounge chairs – I do not know if the deluxe rooms are larger or better bedding. The rooms did not match the exterior of the resort. The Resort I rate 4.5 out of 6 stars and the rooms 3 stars (2 double beds) since they were kept very clean and the fridge stocked ( I just returned this weekend from Atlantic City, NJ and I stayed at the Hilton and that room was a 5 star – queen size bed with pillow top and pillows that were firms and sheets that were fitted and soft) They do not have many channel on the TV. You can get some english channels. They had TBS and Showtime or Cine max I do not recall which.

Room only important if you get sick. My Friend did get sick for one day and had to go back to the room. There is NO ROOM SERVICE, even though the brochure says there is and that there is 24 hour food service – not. This should be check with all resorts since I believe it only applies to the suites and villas.

Food: The food was good and they had many choices and each night they changed the choices. This is not the place if you are not into buffet. Breakfast and lunch are always buffet. Getting reservations in the restaurants are hard and many people were upset since there is only two seating 6:30 and 8:30 PM and you can not booked until the day after your arrival. We were lucky to get two nights at the restaurant since I did not want to spend my birthday dinner at the buffet and we both like sit down service. So, this was a little negative for sure. They need to add more restaurants and people tend to eat less when they have a sit down. I loved the smoothie bar in the mornings. No worry about burning it all off with the stairs.

Staff & entertainment: They were great and fun. Very polite and helpful. The lobby bar was the place most people hung at night. The theatre show started at 9:45 for adults (kids earlier) and the disco started at 10:30 – 2:00 am. They need to add a sports bar and maybe piano bar. The lobby bar was understaff on Friday, but Saturday they did add two more people. Ordering drinks became a challenge since English is not their first language you may not get the drink you ordered and the choices were slim. Since it was all inclusive most people went with the flow when they received the wrong drink. You just tried it and if you did not like you tried to order you choice again. They did not have tequila for 3 nights and no premium liquor. I feel they should add premium (bacardi, jack daniels, etc) even if it meant charging an additional one to two dollars for call drinks. The entertainment was on the level of a high school or even college talent show. They should probably do more Island type of shows to showcase their heritage. It was fun if you had nothing else to do.

Tours: You do this through the tour groups at the hotel to be safe. Ocean World is right next door and this is on the scale of Sea World. This is all day and it includes lunch. Those that signed up to swim with the dolphins loved it. We went to town to the Amber Museum and rum bottling plant. The Amber Museum is good if you want cigars, coffee and amber stones. The prices were great here and the quality probably the best. Near here are also gift shops for t-shirts. We also went to the dept. store the locales go t o Casa Nelson which I got hair products and my friend and another family got bathing suits and cover-ups.

Would I go back. Yes. Would I stay at Sun Village? That depends on who went with me and if I wanted to go to Ocean World and had young people with me since this resort seems to offer them a lot to do. I believe I would like to check out Punta Cana since I have heard about the "white" sand beaches and the resorts there being like mini compounds.

I hope this help future visitors.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Dan ~ Winnipeg, Manitoba

March 2005

We returned home to snowy Winnipeg on March 6th from 2 fabulous weeks at Sun Village. This was our second visit to the complex and this time we had 6 other friends with us—all of whom will be returning in the future. I just wanted to pass along my personal thanks to the Management Team for all the excellent changes that have been made to the complex in the past 3 years. The food services and restaurants were all excellent, both in selection of meals but also in decor. As we experinced the 1st time, we found the staff to be second to none. We made a point every morning of sitting in Roland’s section simply to start the day with his amazing smile—-a true star. Our personal concierge was Luz and we all simply fell in love with her. She was so pleasant and a real gem. Also making our star list was of course, fellow Winnipeger, Kelvin Duek. It was really very nice to have Kelvin stop every time he saw us and spent even a few minutes speaking with us. We all felt as if we’d known him for years. We were fortunate to have been upgraded to the deluxe rooms which we were very, very pleased with. The layout of the rooms was very nice and they were well appointed. Having a balcony overlooking the plant nursery, beach pool and the beach was wonderful. We did however share a few concerns, one of which centered around the amount of plastics being thrown away. Between the plastic beer cups and small water bottles, we made a suggestion to Kelvin that it may be of benefit to the Village and the environment to provide all guests with a souvenir thermal mug and go back to supplying each room with 2 of the large water bottles as was the case 3 years ago. We all brought our own mugs from past experience, to keep our drinks cold longer and yes, provide larger drinks—hahaha. Anyway we all thought that the souvenir mug would be a good way of branding the resort and to get the name out "back home", wherever that may be. Just a thought. Also, we felt that the bar service at the Lobby Bar as well and the top level pool bar left a lot to be desired. The staff at both of these bars seemed to be understaffed, (even when it wasn’t really that busy) and not very knowledgeable when it came to mixing the drinks. Also, the 5 ladies in our group all experienced the same degree of frustration in being served while waiting at the bar. We also felt that the nightly shows were not up to what we felt they should have been. Spanish speaking staff Lip-syncing songs in English simply didn’t cut it. I don’t think we sat through a full show the full 2-weeks we were there. (actual, didn’t even bother going the second week) We were disappointed to find that Barb was no longer with the Village as the activity coordinator. She made a huge impression on us the last time we where there, but understand that everyone must move forward or they’re not improving themselves. Despite this very minor negatives, we all had an amazing, totally relaxing 2-week vacation in the most beautiful resort we’ve seen in the past 5 years. Props to the Mgmt Team for your staff selections and keep trying to improve. We will definately return to Sun Village in the future.

Top of Page

EMI Sun Village Resort Ryan from Canada

March 2005

after reading all the reviews of the sun village resort before we left for our vacation on mar 6-mar13, we were a little scared about what we were going to go to. let me tell you i dont know why the people that bashed this place and even considered doing so! here is me review, coming from a person that is pretty easy.

resort appearance: what can i say about this… it was totally awesome!! if you are the kind of person that gets mad at a resort that has beautiful flowers, bushes, fountians and buildings than this resort is not for you. not to mention the views. being on the side of a mountian you can see down to the ocean and to the east very well. the resort was kept in emaculate appearance. at night they washed down all the sidewalks that during the day accumulates bird poop.

staff: to put it fast the staff as a whole was amazing. not one problem with them. 98% of the staff could speak english(enough to understand and answer you anyways). what more could you ask for. they were most welcome in helping you translate when talking to taxis or others if you needed. very friendly as well. it was few and far between that they didnt say ola! as you walked by(even the grounds crew)

entertainment and night life: it was pretty good. lots of dancing. it was about 1 hour each night. after the live entertainment the disco OPUS opened till 2. not a bad place if lots of people show up, unless your sick of meregue type music. for me this was the one area lacking. this was the olny option on the resort. it would be better if there were other things to do at night.

food: we ate at all the restuarants and found them all good. the buffet changed type of food every day which made it not bad to go there for every meal if you wanted. i found the mediteranean restuarant the best. the thai and mexican were both good as well though. the pizza at the side bar in the buffet is awsome. aslo the cheese burgers at the beach were to die for.

rooms: we stayed in 309 and the rooms were a typical size and comfort as any other hotel ive stayed at before. every room in this building has a patio with 2 loungers that are soooo comfortable. tv has like 40 channels most of them in english. 1 bad thing, or at least a bit inconvienent is the hot water in the shower has to be turned on for a couple of minutes before hot water comes out. aslo water saving shower heads make the pressure pretty weak.

pools. there are 4 of them. never a problem getting a chiar to sit on. the dolphin pool seems to be the pool that is the best as almost all the chairs get taken up

drink selection: huge. basically what ever you can think of. only 2 types of beer though

layout: being built on the side of a hill makes this layout unique. first of all it is huge. if you cant walk well dont go here as there are stairs and inclines/declines everywhere. it is about a 5 minute walk to the beach from the lobby. if yo are content on staying on the resort for the week than this is the place for you as there is more than enough room and different pools to relax everyday.

beach: the beach front isnt as big as i thought it might be but there is more than enough room for even 100 people. the waves were about 1-3 high so playing in them made it fun and safe. there were a bunch of weeds towards the shore that wash up in the water

i think this is a pretty good indication of what to expect. all the people that complained that this was a bad resort obviously are being rediculous as this is top notch. it is a true 4-4.5 star resort. as in every thing, they could improve the resort but that is what these reviews and the questionaire youll fill out will tell them. would i go back…probably not just because i like to explore a bit and this resort is in the middle of no where. you would have to cab somewhere as i might not be safe to walk to the highway.

Top of Page

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *